Thin films of the α -quartz SixGe1-xO2 solid solution

Silang Zhou, Jordi Antoja-Lleonart, Václav Ocelík, Beatriz Noheda*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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SiO2 with the α-quartz structure is one of the most popular piezoelectrics. It is widely used in crystal oscillators, bulk acoustic wave (BAW) devices, surface acoustic wave (SAW) devices, and so on. GeO2 can also be crystallized into the α-quartz structure and it has better piezoelectric properties, with higher piezoelectric coefficient and electromechanical coupling coefficients, than SiO2. Experiments on bulk crystals and theoretical studies have shown that these properties can be tuned by varying the Si/Ge ratio in the SixGe1-xO2 solid solution. However, to the best of our knowledge, thin films of SixGe1-xO2 quartz have never been reported. Here we present the successful crystallization of SixGe1-xO2 thin films in the α-quartz phase on quartz substrates (SiO2) with x up to 0.75. Generally, the films grow semi-epitaxially, with the same orientation as the substrates. Interestingly, the Si0.75Ge0.25O2 composition grows fully strained by the quartz substrates and this leads to the formation of circular quartz domains with an ordered Dauphiné twin structure. These studies represent a first step towards the optimization of piezoelectric quartz thin films for high frequency (> 5 GHz) applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2010
Number of pages15
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Early online date7-Feb-2022
Publication statusPublished - Dec-2022

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