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SOLIDLY MOUNTED RESONATORS AND FILTERS

K . M . Lakin, K.T. McCarron, and R.E. Rose

TFR Technologies, Inc.


701 SE Salmon Ave.

Redmond. OR 97756
ABSTRACT Acoustic resonators require material interfaces that confine waves to a finite volume in an efficient manner. Conventionally this is achieved by using air or vacuum interfaces at the electrodes. Another technique is to fabricate the resonator onto a set of quarter wavelength thick layers attached to a substrate to form a solidly mountedresonator (SMR). The SMR concept hasbeen used to fabricatelowinsertion loss filtersfor GPS and other applications. Filters for GPS having less than 3 dB insertion loss and 40 dB out-of-band rejection have been demonstrated. These tillers are composed of ladder networks with series and shunt resonators. the substrateto form the membrane and thereby define the resonator. Substrates such as silicon and gallium arsenide have been used with some success.

BASIC RESONATOR CONFIGURATIONS


VIA ISOLATED RESONATOR Electrodes

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I. INTRODUCTION

Wirelessnetworks are growingrapidlyinthespectrum from 500 MHz to 6 GHz. These systems include pager, cellularphone,navigation,satellitecommunication,and various forms of data communication. The need for high performance filters has become more apparent as spectrum crowding increases with the deploymentof new systems. In particular there growing is a need for front-end filters that protect receivers from adjacent channel interference and output filters that limit the bandwidth of transmitter noise. Further, subsystem miniaturization may requirehighperformancefilters to occupy the same or similar packages as high frequency integrated circuits.

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SOLIDLY MOUNTED RESONATOR (SMR) Eleclrodes
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by the edge Of the I-. fabrication involves depositionof a piezoelectric filmon a supporting substrate followed by removal of a portion of

The second configuration involves fabrlcating an air gap under the resonator [ 6 ] .This may be accomplished by first depositingandpatterninganarea of temporarysupport

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film, next depositing and patterning an overlay piezoelectric resonator with electrodes, and finally using an under cutting etch to remove the temporary support.
11. SOLIDLY MOUNTED RESONATORS

The solidly mounted resonator (SMR) in Fig. 2c is of a considerably different form than the membrane structures the piezoelectric solidly is described above. Since be used to mounted to the substratesomemeansmust acoustically isolate the piezoelectric from the substrateif a high Q resonance isto be obtained.
In 1965, Newell [7]described a method of transforming theimpedanceofaresonatormountingsubstratetoa lower value at the crystal that gave partial isolation. The technique used quarter wavelength sections of materials havinglargeimpedanceratiosthatfavorablytransform thesubstrateimpedance.Newellshowedthatbothfree and clampedinterfacescould be obtainedusingquarter wavelength thick transformation layers.
The reflection characteristics of a quarter reflector are shown in Fig. 2.
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Fig. 3. Mechanical displacement as a function of depth Jrom the top o f the resonotor into thr reJlector H de~e,lores high impedance and L low impedance regions.

The absence of a V I A or any special substrate preparation shows considerable promise for direct integration onto active circuit wafers. It is necessary, in this case, to first wJavelength passivate the IC's and then fabricate S M R devices, in areas provided, after all IC processing has taken place. 111. SMR FILTERS The various forms of crystal filters and their use at intermediate frequency locationsin wireless systems is well known. The use of crystal filters at system operating frequencies, and particularly close to the antenna, is relativelynewbecauseuntilrecentlycrystalfiltershave not had the low insertion loss, bandwidth. and impedance levels necessary for these applications.

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Thin film resonator filters havebeenunderdevelopment for some time [l-6,8-10] using the membrane approach. These filters have shown some promise but manufacturing yields with fragile membranes is low and spurious responses from plate waves have been a problem [S] The use of piezoelectric films on thick substrates to create overmoded resonators and filters allowed strain in the resonatorswithoutfracturedmembranes and showed an absenceofspuriousresonances [ I l l . Inordertoobtain high performance and high manufacturing yield the S M R approach has been applied to ladder filter configurations [l21 with recent results reported here. Experimental results for a ladder filter composed of three series and two shunt SMR's is shown in Fig. 4 The deep notches are used to increase the filtcr skin selcctivit?. The highfrequencynotchis due toparallelresonance in the low frequencynotchisdue to seriesresonatorsandthe series resonance in theshuntresonators.The S I , wide

Fig. 2. Rejection coejjicient of two multi-layer reJectors. f layers The narrower frequency response isfor a sei o having 2:l impedance ratio between a4acent layers. and the wider response is for approximately 1O:l impedance ratio.

The effect of the reflector on mechanical displacement is shown in Fig. 3. for the wide bandwidth reflector of Fig. 2. An important effect the reflector of layers, as demonstrated by Newell, is the partial lateral stiffeningof the piezoelectric plate that minimizes displacements associated with plate wave generation and consequent spurious resonances normally observed in free plates.

906 - 1995 IEEE ULTRASONICS SYMPOSIUM

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Fig. 4. Experimental results for a ladderjilter made using F r e q u e n c y , MHz SMRs in a simple configuration. Fig. 5. Wide response /or a 2.488 GHzjilrer designedfbr band response of a ladder filter is illustrated in Fig. 5 for a a high our-of-band rejecrion. The inserfioniuss is 5 dB. different design.
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There is in eeneral a trade off between in-band insertion -10 loss and out-of-bandrejectionforladderfiltershaving -20 finite Q resonators. This is illustrated in the comparison of the filters in Fig. 5 andFig. 6 designedforthesame m - ~ o center frequency. The experimental results show that the rejection, as measured from the center the of filter -40 loss of g pass-band, can beincreasedmuchmorethanthe in-band insertion loss. Thus the filter in Fig. 5 has a 5 dB insertion loss with nearly 70 dB out-of-band rejection -60 while 30 dEl the of rejection. in Fig. filter 6 has 3 dB loss with approximately -70
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Filters,such as used fortransmitteroutput,needonly necessary out-of-band level have for arejection at harmonic or noise attenuation. Frequently that is a much less severe requirement that needed for receiver or synthesizer clean-up filters.

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F r e q u e n c g , MHz Fig. 6. Filter similar to the one in Fig. 5 excepr designed with a lower out-of-bandrejection.

improvedfilmqualityandthicknesscontrol are under Oneoftheimportantfeatures of the S M R filter is the investigation. absence of apparent spurious plate wave resonances anywhere in the filter response. The ladder filters reportedIV. SUMMARY AND ACKNOWLEDGMENT using membrane resonators [S] showed considerable The solidly mounted resonator ( S M R ) is a form ofbulk spuriousresponseduetoplatewavesgenerated by the wave acoustic resonator that is isolated from the substrate resonator and formed into lateral standing waves by using a sequence of quarter-wavelength thick layers that discontinuities at the edges of the electrodes or plate. form anefficientreflector. The S M R concepthas been reduced lo practice using thin films and film deposition techniques to form the bonds between the various layers, The demonstrated advantage of the S M R , over other thin film bulk wave resonator approaches, is that the resulting resonator response can be made nearly independent of the type of substrateused. The resonanceresponseisvery clean, showing a lack of spurious effects. The fabrication VIA. process does not require a substrate backside

The third harmonic responseof the filter is suppressed by as a result of resonator and filter design. The out-of-band rejection is very favorable compared with high dielectric canstant filters. Some systems, such as GPS, require front end filters with an insertion loss of less than 1.5 dB in order not to degrade the signal-to-noise ratio. Therefore, techniquesto loss of ladder filters through improve the insertion

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V. REFERENCES 1. T.W. Grudkowski, I.F. Black, T.M. Reeder, D.E. Cullen, and R.A. Wagner, "Fundamental Mode UHF/VHF Miniature Resonators and Filters". Applied Physics Ltrs.. Vol. 39, no. 11, Nov. 1980, pp. 993-995.

J.S. Wang, "Acoustic Bulk Wave CompositeResonators",AppliedPhysicsLtrs,Vol.39, no. 3, Feb. 1981, pp. 125-128.
2. K.M. Lakin and
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Frequency,

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3 . C. Vale, l. Rosenbaum. S. Horwitz, S Krishnaswamy. and R. Moore, "FBAR Filters at GHz Frequencies", 45 th. Annual Symp. o f F r q . Cont. Proc., 1991, pp. 332-336.
4. M. Kitayama, T. Fukuichi, T. Shiosaki. and A. Kawabata,"VHF/UHF Composite Resonator on a Silicon Substrate", I. I. Appl.Phys.Vol.22(1983)Suppl22-3. pp.139-141 5 . K. Nakamura, Y . Ohashi and H. Shimizu. "UHFBulk Acoustic Wave Filters Utilizing Thul ZnOiSiO, DiaphragmsonSilicon". J . J . ApplPhys. Vol 25. No 3 . 1986, pp, 371-375 6. H. Satoh, Y. Ebata, H. Suzuki.andC.Narahara,"An Air Gap Type Piezoelectric Composite Resonator", 39th AnnualSymposiumonFrequencyControl Proc.. 1985. pp. 361-366.

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7. Newell, W.E. "Face-Mounted Piezoelectric Resonators", Proc. IEEE, Vol 53, June 1965, pp. Fig. 7. S M R ladder filter for a frequency around 900 MHz. 575-581 a) Wide band response, and b) close-in response showing 8. K.M.Lakin,G.R.KlineandK.T.McCarron."Thin group delay across the 3 dB bandwidth of the filter. Film Bulk Acoustic Filters for GPS". l992 Ultrasonics Symp. Proc., pp. 471-476. Miniature filters have been demonstrated with insertion
b)

losses less than 3 dB for application to wireless systems. These filters have been synthesized using solidly mounted resonators from approximately 900 MHz to over 2.5 GHz. Design performance and tradeoffs have been demonstrated for in-band insertion loss and out-of-band rejection.
Applications of the SMR and ladder filter concept to a wide range of wireless systems are being investigated and large volume manufacturing of SMR filters is being planned for implementation in late 1996 with small scale pilot line production in early 1996. The authors wish to acknowledge contract support from the U.S. Army SBIR program, the U.S. Army Advanced ConceptsandTechnologyprogram,andDARPASBIR program,the U.S. NavySBIRprogram,andother US Government support

9. R.B. Stokesand J.D. Crawford."X-BandThinFilm Acoustic Filters on GaAs", IEEE Trans. Microwave Theory Tech. Vol. 41 no. 617, Dec 1993. pp. 1075-1080. IO. K.M. Lakin "Modeling of Thin Film Resonators and Filters", in Proc. IEEE MTT-S Int. Microwave Symp. Dig., lune 1992, pp. 149-152.

11. K.M. Lakin, G.R. Kline and K.T. McCarron. "High Q Microwave Acoustic Resonalors and Fillers". IEEE Trans. MicrowaveTheoryTech.Vol. 11 no 12. Dcc. 19Y3. pp. 2139-2146.
12. K.M. Lakin. G.R. Klme and K.T. McCarron. "Development Miniature of Filters Wireless for Applications" to be published in. IEEE Trans. Microwave Theory Tech. Vol. 1 3 no. 12, Dec. 19%.

908 - 1995 IEEE ULTRASONICS SYMPOSIUM