Thin film growth, Piezoelectric, Langasite, Liquid phase Epitaxy (LPE), LGT


Piezoelectric materials are well known for their applications in surface (SAW) and bulk acoustic wave (BAW) devices such as oscillators, resonators and sensors. Quartz has been the main material used in such applications. Ternary calcium gallium germanate (CGG) structure-type materials, so-called langasites, recently emerged as very promising because of their piezoelectric properties superior to quartz. This thesis discusses the growth of langasite-type La3Ga5.5Ta0.5O14 (LGT) films by liquid phase epitaxy (LPE) technique and their chemical and structural characterization. In addition, the different techniques suitable for the growth of LGT are discussed and compared. To adjust the materials properties for given applications, doping by selected ions can be used. However, the dopants must be homogeneously distributed. In the current study, Al, Ti, Cr and Ca were investigated as dopants. In an earlier study, Al and Ti had been chosen because of their ability to substitute the octahedral site of LGT, normally occupied by Ga (CN=VI) with a segregation coefficient near unity in Czochralski growth. Doping with Ca and Cr has never been reported before, and therefore, the segregation behavior was unknown. In this study, Al, Ti and co-doping with Cr and Ca has been investigated for both X and Y-oriented films. The dopant distribution in the films was quantitatively evaluated by Secondary Ion Mass Spectroscopy (SIMS), using ion-implanted LGT substrates as standards. The drop of dopant concentration, in the SIMS profile, allows for the identification of the film-substrate interface and to accurately measure the thickness of the films. The film thickness is found to be typically of the order 0.5 to 2µm, depending on growth conditions. The solvent was found a reliable choice, as solvent ions were not incorporated in the films above the detection limits of the characterization techniques. A lead oxide solvent system is used as a solvent for the growth of LGT LPE films with different orientations. Extensive structural characterization was performed. The crystallinity of substrates and films grown with different orientations was compared by X-ray diffraction (XRD). The films show a very high structural perfection, with typically FWHM values of 0.035 for the (004) reflection of the XRD rocking curve. The films were also characterized by TEM. The optical transmittance of the films was characterized by Varian optical spectrophotometer, and the value obtained of approximately 80% is comparable with the transmittance value of the Czochralski grown polished substrate.


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Graduation Date





Klemenz, Christine


Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering (M.S.M.S.E.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Mechanical, Materials, and Aerospace Engineering

Degree Program

Materials Science and Engineering








Release Date

July 2008

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)