A Computational and Experimental Study of Surface Acoustic Waves in Phononic Crystals
Petrus, Joseph Andrew
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The unique frequency range and robustness of surface acoustic wave (SAW) devices has been a catalyst for their adoption as integral components in a range of consumer and military electronics. Furthermore, the strain and piezoelectric ﬁelds associated with SAWs are ﬁnding novel applications in nanostructured devices. In this thesis, the interaction of SAWs with periodic elastic structures, such as photonic or phononic crystals (PnCs), is studied both computationally and experimentally. To predict the behaviour of elastic waves in PnCs, a ﬁnite-difference time-domain simulator (PnCSim) was developed using C++. PnCSim was designed to calculate band structures and transmission spectra of elastic waves through two-dimensional PnCs. By developing appropriate boundary conditions, bulk waves, surface acoustic waves, and plate waves can be simulated. Results obtained using PnCSim demonstrate good agreement with theoretical data reported in the literature. To experimentally investigate the behaviour of SAWs in PnCs, fabrication procedures were developed to create interdigitated transducers (IDTs) and PnCs. Using lift-off photolithography, IDTs with ﬁnger widths as low as 1.8 um were fabricated on gallium arsenide (GaAs), corresponding to a SAW frequency of 397 MHz. A citric acid and hydrogen peroxide wet-etching solution was used to create shallow air hole PnCs in square and triangular lattice conﬁgurations, with lattice constants of 8 um and 12 um, respectively. The relative transmission of SAWs through these PnCs as a function of frequency was determined by comparing the insertion losses before and after etching the PnCs. In addition, using a scanning Sagnac interferometer, displacement maps were measured for SAWs incident on square lattice PnCs by Mathew (Creating and Imaging Surface Acoustic Waves on GaAs, Master’s Thesis). Reasonable agreement was found between simulations and measurements. Additional simulations indicate that SAW waveguiding should be possible with a PnC consiting of air holes in GaAs. The phononic properties of a commonly used photonic plate were also determined. Band structure simulations of the plate displayed no complete elastic band gaps. However, transmission simulations indicated that a pseudo-gap may form for elastic waves polarized in the sagittal plane.