US20130015747A1 - Resonator device including electrode with buried temperature compensating layer - Google Patents

Resonator device including electrode with buried temperature compensating layer Download PDF

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US20130015747A1
US20130015747A1 US13/624,046 US201213624046A US2013015747A1 US 20130015747 A1 US20130015747 A1 US 20130015747A1 US 201213624046 A US201213624046 A US 201213624046A US 2013015747 A1 US2013015747 A1 US 2013015747A1
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electrode
layer
formed
acoustic
piezoelectric layer
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US13/624,046
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Richard C. Ruby
Wei Pang
Qiang Zou
Donald Lee
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Avago Technologies General IP Singapore Pte Ltd
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Avago Technologies Wireless IP Singapore Pte Ltd
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Priority to US13/624,046 priority patent/US20130015747A1/en
Publication of US20130015747A1 publication Critical patent/US20130015747A1/en
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    • HELECTRICITY
    • H03BASIC ELECTRONIC CIRCUITRY
    • H03HIMPEDANCE NETWORKS, e.g. RESONANT CIRCUITS; RESONATORS
    • H03H9/00Networks comprising electromechanical or electro-acoustic devices; Electromechanical resonators
    • H03H9/02Details
    • H03H9/125Driving means, e.g. electrodes, coils
    • H03H9/13Driving means, e.g. electrodes, coils for networks consisting of piezo-electric or electrostrictive materials
    • H03H9/131Driving means, e.g. electrodes, coils for networks consisting of piezo-electric or electrostrictive materials consisting of a multilayered structure
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H03BASIC ELECTRONIC CIRCUITRY
    • H03HIMPEDANCE NETWORKS, e.g. RESONANT CIRCUITS; RESONATORS
    • H03H3/00Apparatus or processes specially adapted for the manufacture of impedance networks, resonating circuits, resonators
    • H03H3/007Apparatus or processes specially adapted for the manufacture of impedance networks, resonating circuits, resonators for the manufacture of electromechanical resonators or networks
    • H03H3/02Apparatus or processes specially adapted for the manufacture of impedance networks, resonating circuits, resonators for the manufacture of electromechanical resonators or networks for the manufacture of piezo-electric or electrostrictive resonators or networks
    • H03H3/04Apparatus or processes specially adapted for the manufacture of impedance networks, resonating circuits, resonators for the manufacture of electromechanical resonators or networks for the manufacture of piezo-electric or electrostrictive resonators or networks for obtaining desired frequency or temperature coefficient
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H03BASIC ELECTRONIC CIRCUITRY
    • H03HIMPEDANCE NETWORKS, e.g. RESONANT CIRCUITS; RESONATORS
    • H03H9/00Networks comprising electromechanical or electro-acoustic devices; Electromechanical resonators
    • H03H9/02Details
    • H03H9/02007Details of bulk acoustic wave devices
    • H03H9/02086Means for compensation or elimination of undesirable effects
    • H03H9/02102Means for compensation or elimination of undesirable effects of temperature influence
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H03BASIC ELECTRONIC CIRCUITRY
    • H03HIMPEDANCE NETWORKS, e.g. RESONANT CIRCUITS; RESONATORS
    • H03H9/00Networks comprising electromechanical or electro-acoustic devices; Electromechanical resonators
    • H03H9/15Constructional features of resonators consisting of piezo-electric or electrostrictive material
    • H03H9/17Constructional features of resonators consisting of piezo-electric or electrostrictive material having a single resonator
    • H03H9/171Constructional features of resonators consisting of piezo-electric or electrostrictive material having a single resonator implemented with thin-film techniques, i.e. of the film bulk acoustic resonator [FBAR] type
    • H03H9/172Means for mounting on a substrate, i.e. means constituting the material interface confining the waves to a volume
    • H03H9/173Air-gaps
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H03BASIC ELECTRONIC CIRCUITRY
    • H03HIMPEDANCE NETWORKS, e.g. RESONANT CIRCUITS; RESONATORS
    • H03H9/00Networks comprising electromechanical or electro-acoustic devices; Electromechanical resonators
    • H03H9/15Constructional features of resonators consisting of piezo-electric or electrostrictive material
    • H03H9/17Constructional features of resonators consisting of piezo-electric or electrostrictive material having a single resonator
    • H03H9/171Constructional features of resonators consisting of piezo-electric or electrostrictive material having a single resonator implemented with thin-film techniques, i.e. of the film bulk acoustic resonator [FBAR] type
    • H03H9/172Means for mounting on a substrate, i.e. means constituting the material interface confining the waves to a volume
    • H03H9/175Acoustic mirrors

Abstract

An acoustic resonator device includes a composite first electrode on a substrate, a piezoelectric layer on the composite electrode, and a second electrode on the piezoelectric layer. The first electrode includes a buried temperature compensating layer having a positive temperature coefficient. The piezoelectric layer has a negative temperature coefficient, and thus the positive temperature coefficient of the temperature compensating layer offsets at least a portion of the negative temperature coefficient of the piezoelectric layer.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • The present application is a continuation application under 37 C.F.R. §1.53(b) of commonly owned U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/769,791 to Richard C. Ruby, et al. and entitled “RESONATOR DEVICE INCLUDING ELECTRODE WITH BURIED TEMPERATURE COMPENSATING LAYER”, and filed on Apr. 29, 2010 Applicants claim priority under 35 U.S.C. §120 from U.S. patent application Ser.. No. 12/769,791, and the entire disclosure of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/769,791 is specifically incorporated herein by reference.
  • BACKGROUND
  • Electrical resonators are widely incorporated in modern electronic devices. For example, in wireless communications devices, radio frequency (RE) and microwave frequency resonators are used as filters, such as ladder filters having electrically connected series and shunt resonators formed in a ladder structure. The filters may he included in a duplexer, for example, connected between a single antenna and a receiver and a transmitter for respectively filtering received and transmitted signals.
  • Various types of filters use mechanical resonators, such as bulk acoustic wave (BAW), surface acoustic wave (SAW), and solidly mounted resonator (SMR)-BAW resonators. The resonators generally convert electrical signals to mechanical signals or vibrations, and/or mechanical signals or vibrations to electrical signals. A BAW resonator, for example, is an acoustic stack that generally includes a layer of piezoelectric material between two electrodes. Acoustic waves achieve resonance across the acoustic stack, with the resonant frequency of the waves being determined by the materials in the acoustic stack and the thickness of each layer (e.g., piezoelectric layer and electrode layers). One type of BAW resonator includes a piezoelectric film as the piezoelectric material, which may be referred to as a film bulk acoustic resonator (FBAR). FBARs resonate at GHz frequencies, and are thus relatively compact, having thicknesses on the order of microns and length and width dimensions of hundreds of microns.
  • Resonators may be used as band-pass filters with associated passbands providing ranges of frequencies permitted to pass through the filters. The passbands of the resonator filters tend to shift in response to environmental and operational factors, such as changes in temperature and/or incident power. For example, the passband of a resonator filter moves lower in frequency in response to rising temperature and higher incident power.
  • Cellular phones, in particular, are negatively affected by shifts in passband due to fluctuations in temperature and power. For example, a cellular phone includes power amplifiers (PAs) that must be able to deal with larger than expected insertion losses at the edges of the filter (duplexer). As the filter passband shifts down in frequency, e.g., due to rising temperature, the point of maximum absorption of power in the filter, which is designed to be above the passband, moves down into the frequency range of the FCC or government designated passband. At this point, the filter begins to absorb more power from the PA and heats up, causing the temperature to increase further. Thus, the filter passband shifts down in frequency more, bringing the maximum filter absorbing point even closer. This sets up a potential runaway situation, which is avoided only by the fact that the reflected power becomes large and the filter eventually settles at some high temperature.
  • PAs are designed specifically to handle the worst case power handling of the filter at the corner of the pass band. Currents of a typical PA can run from a few mA at the center of the filter passband to about 380 mA-450 mA at the edges. This is a huge power draw on the PA, as well as the battery that drives the cellular phone. This is one reason that a cellular phone operating more in the transmit mode (i.e., talk time) than in the receive mode (i.e., listening time) drains battery power more quickly.
  • In order to prevent or reduce rising temperatures, a conventional filter may include a layer of oxide material within the piezoelectric layer of the acoustic stack. The oxide material has a positive temperature coefficient, which at least partially offsets the negative temperature coefficients of the metal electrodes and the piezoelectric material, respectively. For example, the oxide material may be placed in the center of the piezoelectric layer or at either end of the piezoelectric layer between the electrodes. However, that the acoustic coupling coefficient (kt2) of the resonator is greatly compromised by the addition of oxide material to the piezoelectric layer. This is because the oxide material appears as a “dead” capacitor in series with the active piezoelectric material dielectric. Further, the oxide material may contaminate the piezoelectric material. For example, when the piezoelectric material is aluminum nitride (AlN), the oxide material causes the AlN to become a chemical compound that includes oxygen (e.g., AlN(x)O(y)), which is a non-piezoelectric material, thus further degrading the acoustic coupling coefficient.
  • SUMMARY
  • In accordance with a representative embodiment, an acoustic wave resonator comprises: (a) a substrate; (b) an acoustic reflector formed on the substrate; (c) a bottom electrode formed on the acoustic reflector; (d) a piezoelectric layer formed on the bottom electrode; and (e) a composite structure formed on the piezoelectric layer, comprising: (i) a first electrode formed on the piezoelectric layer; (ii) a temperature compensation layer formed on the first electrode; and (iii) a second electrode formed on the temperature compensation layer and electrically connected to the first electrode.
  • In accordance with another representative embodiment, an acoustic wave resonator, comprising a composite structure comprises: (a) a first electrode; (h) a temperature compensation layer formed on the first electrode. The temperature compensation layer has one or more vias or trenches formed therein. The acoustic wave resonator also comprises (c) a second electrode formed on the temperature compensation layer and electrically connected to the first electrode at least throe the one or more vias or trenches of the temperature compensation layer.
  • In another representative embodiment, an acoustic wave resonator comprises: (a) a substrate; (b) an acoustic reflector formed on the substrate; (c) a composite structure formed on the acoustic reflector, comprising: (i) a first electrode formed on the acoustic reflector; (ii) a temperature compensation layer formed on the first electrode; and (iii) a second electrode formed on the temperature compensation layer and electrically connected to the first electrode; (d) a piezoelectric layer formed on the second electrode of the composite structure; and (e) a top electrode formed on the piezoelectric layer.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The example embodiments are best understood from the following detailed description when read with the accompanying drawing figures. It is emphasized that the various features are not necessarily drawn to scale. In fact, the dimensions may be arbitrarily increased or decreased for clarity of discussion. Wherever applicable and practical, like reference numerals refer to like elements.
  • FIG. 1 is a cross-sectional diagram illustrating an acoustic resonator device, including an electrode with a buried temperature compensating layer, according to a representative embodiment.
  • FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional diagram illustrating an acoustic resonator device, including an electrode with a buried temperature compensating layer, according to a representative embodiment.
  • FIG. 3 is a flow diagram illustrating a method of fabricating an acoustic resonator device, according to a representative embodiment.
  • FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional diagram illustrating an acoustic resonator device, including an electrode with a buried temperature compensating layer, according to a representative embodiment.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • In the following detailed description, for purposes of explanation and not limitation, representative embodiments disclosing specific details are set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of the present teachings. However, it will be apparent to one having ordinary skill in the art having had the benefit of the present disclosure that other embodiments according to the present teachings that depart from the specific details disclosed herein remain within the scope of the appended claims. Moreover, descriptions of well-known apparatuses and methods may be omitted so as to not obscure the description of the representative embodiments. Such methods and apparatuses are clearly within the scope of the present teachings.
  • Generally, it is understood that the drawings and the various elements depicted therein are not drawn to scale. Further, relative terms, such as “above,” “below,” “top,” “bottom,” “upper,” “tower,” “left,” “right,” “vertical” and “horizontal,” are used to describe the various elements' relationships to one another, as illustrated in the accompanying drawings. It is understood that these relative terms are intended to encompass different orientations of the device and/or elements in addition to the orientation depicted in the drawings. For example, if the device were inverted with respect to the view in the drawings, an element described as “above” another element, for example, would now be “below” that element, Likewise, if the device were rotated 90 degrees with respect to the view in the drawings, an element described as “vertical,” for example, would now be “horizontal.”
  • Aspects of the present teachings are relevant to components of BAW and FBAR devices and filters, their materials and their methods of fabrication. Various details of such devices and corresponding methods of fabrication may be found, for example, in one or more of the following U.S. patent publications: U.S. Pat. No. 6,107,721, to Lakin; U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,587,620, 5,873,153, 6,507,983, 7,388,454 and 7,629,865 to Ruby et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 7,280,007 to Hongjun Feng et al.; and U.S. Patent Application Pub. No. 2007-0205850 Jamneala et al. The disclosures of these patents and published patent applications are hereby incorporated by reference. It is emphasized that the components, materials and method of fabrication described in these patents and patent applications are representative and other methods of fabrication and materials within the purview of one of ordinary skill in the art are contemplated.
  • According to various embodiments, a resonator device has an acoustic stack with a piezoelectric layer between top and bottom electrodes, at least one of which is a composite electrode having a temperature compensating layer deposited between an electrode layer and a conductive interposer layer. The temperature compensating layer may he formed of an oxide material, such as boron silicate glass (BSG), for example, having a positive temperature coefficient which offsets at least a portion of the negative temperature coefficients of the piezoelectric layer and the conductive material in the top and bottom electrodes. The conductive interposer layer thus makes a DC electrical connection with the electrode layer in the composite electrode, effectively shorting out a capacitive component of the temperature compensating layer and increasing a coupling coefficient kt2 of the resonator device. Also, the conductive interposer, which is positioned between the temperature compensating layer the piezoelectric layer, presents a barrier preventing oxygen in the oxide layer from diffusing into the piezoelectric material of the piezoelectric layer. In various embodiments, the composite electrode may be the bottom electrode, the top electrode, or both, in the acoustic stack.
  • FIG. 1 is a cross-sectional view of an acoustic resonator device, which includes an electrode having a buried temperature compensating layer, according to a representative embodiment.
  • Referring to FIG. 1, illustrative resonator device 100 includes acoustic stack 105 formed on substrate 110. The substrate 110 may be formed of various types of semiconductor materials compatible with semiconductor processes, such as silicon (Si), gallium arsenide (GaAs), indium phosphide (InP), or the like, which is useful for integrating connections and electronics, thus reducing size and cost. In the depicted embodiment, the substrate 110 includes a cavity 115 formed beneath the acoustic stack 105 to provide acoustic isolation, such that the acoustic stack 105 is suspended over an air space to enable mechanical movement. In alternative embodiments, the substrate 110 may be formed with no cavity 115, for example, using SMR technology. For example, the acoustic stack 105 may be formed over an acoustic mirror or a Bragg Reflector (not shown), having alternating layers of high and low acoustic impedance materials, formed in the substrate 110. An acoustic reflector may be fabricated according to various techniques, an example of which is described in U.S. Pat. No. 7,358,831 to Larson, III, et al., which is hereby incorporated by reference.
  • The acoustic stack 105 includes piezoelectric layer 130 formed between composite first electrode 120 and second electrode 140. The composite first electrode 120 includes multiple layers, and is referred to herein as a composite electrode. In various embodiments, the composite first electrode 120 includes a base electrode layer 122, a buried temperature compensating layer, e.g., oxide layer 124 and a conductive interposer layer 126 stacked sequentially on the substrate 110. The electrode layer 122 and the conductive interposer layer 126 are formed of electrically conductive materials, such as various metals compatible with semiconductor processes, including tungsten (W), molybdenum (Mo), aluminum (Al), platinum (Pt), ruthenium (Ru), niobium (Nb), or hafnium (Hf), for example.
  • In various embodiments, the electrode layer 122 and the conductive interposer layer 126 are formed of different conductive materials, where the electrode layer 122 is formed of a material having relatively lower conductivity and relatively higher acoustic impedance, and the conductive interposer layer 126 is formed of a material having relatively higher conductivity and relatively lower acoustic impedance. For example, the electrode layer 122 may be formed of W and the conductive interposer layer 126 may be formed of Mo, although other materials and/or combinations of materials may be used without departing from the scope of the present teachings. Further, in various embodiments, the electrode layer 122 and the conductive interposer layer 126 may be formed of the same conductive material, without departing from the scope of the present teachings.
  • The oxide layer 124 is a temperature compensating layer, and is formed between the electrode layer 122 and the conductive interposer layer 126. The oxide layer 124 is therefore separated or isolated from the piezoelectric layer 130 by the conductive interposer layer 126, and is otherwise sealed in by the connection between the conductive interposer layer 126 and the electrode layer 122. Accordingly, the oxide layer 124 is effectively buried within the composite first electrode 120, The oxide layer 124 may be formed of various materials compatible with semiconductor processes, including boron silicate glass (BSG), silicon dioxide (SiO2), chromium (Cr) or tellurium oxide (TeO(x)), for example, which have positive temperature coefficients. The positive temperature coefficient of the oxide layer 124 offsets negative temperature coefficients of other materials in the acoustic stack 105, including the piezoelectric layer 130, the second electrode 140, and the electrode layer 122 and the conductive interposer layer 126 of the composite first electrode 120.
  • As shown in the embodiment of FIG. 1, the oxide layer 124 does not extend the full width of the acoustic stack 105. Thus, the conductive interposer layer 126, which is formed on the top and side surfaces of the oxide layer 124, contacts the top surface of the electrode layer 122, as indicated for example by reference number 129. Therefore, a DC electrical connection is formed between the conductive interposer layer 126 and the electrode layer 122, By DC electrically connecting with the electrode layer 122, the conductive interposer layer 126 effectively “shorts” out a capacitive component of the oxide layer 124, thus increasing a coupling coefficient (kt2) of the resonator device 100. In addition, the conductive interposer layer 126 provides a barrier that prevents oxygen in the oxide layer 124 from diffusing into the piezoelectric layer 130, preventing contamination of the piezoelectric layer 130,
  • Also, in the depicted embodiment, the oxide layer 124 has tapered edges 124 a, which enhance the DC electrical connection between the conductive interposer layer 126 and the electrode layer 122. In addition, the tapered edges 124 a enhance the mechanical connection between the conductive interposer layer 126 and the electrode layer 122, which improves the sealing quality, e.g., for preventing Oxygen M the oxide layer 124 from diffusing into the piezoelectric layer 130. In alternative embodiments, the edges of the oxide layer 124 are not tapered, but may be substantially perpendicular to the top and bottom surfaces of the oxide layer 124, for example, without departing from the scope of the present teachings.
  • The piezoelectric layer 130 is formed on the top surface of the conductive interposer layer 126. The piezoelectric layer 130 may be formed of a thin film piezoelectric compatible with semiconductor processes, such as aluminum nitride (AlN), zinc oxide (ZnO), lead zirconium titanate (PZT), or the like. The thickness of the piezoelectric layer 130 may range from about 1000 Å to about 100,000 Å, for example, although the thickness may vary to provide unique benefits for any particular situation or to meet application specific design requirements of various implementations, as would be apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art. In an embodiment, the piezoelectric layer 130 may be formed on a seed layer (not shown) disposed over an upper surface the composite first electrode 120. For example, the seed layer may be formed of Al to foster growth of an AlN piezoelectric layer 130. The seed layer may have a thickness in the range of about 50 Å to about 5000 Å, for example.
  • The second electrode 140 is formed on the top surface of the piezoelectric layer 130. The second electrode 140 is formed of an electrically conductive material compatible with semiconductor processes, such as Mo, Ru, Nb, Elf, or the like. In an embodiment, the second electrode 140 is formed of the same material as the electrode layer 122 of the composite first electrode 120. However, in various embodiments, the second electrode 140 may be formed of the same material as only the conductive interposer layer 126; the second electrode 140, the conductive interposer layer 126 and the electrode layer 122 may all be formed of the same material; or the second electrode 140 may be formed of a different material than both the conductive interposer layer 126 and the electrode layer 122, without departing from the scope of the present teachings.
  • The second electrode 140 may further include a passivation layer (not shown), which may be formed of various types of materials, including AlN, silicon carbide (SiC), BSG, SiO2, SiN, polysilicon, and the like. The thickness of the passivation layer must be sufficient to insulate all layers of the acoustic stack 105 from the environment, including protection from moisture, corrosives, contaminants, debris and the like. The first and second electrodes 120 and 140 are electrically connected to external circuitry via contact pads (not shown), which may be formed of a conductive material, such as gold, gold-tin alloy or the like.
  • In an embodiment, an overall first thickness T120 of the composite first electrode 120 is substantially the same as an overall second thickness T140 of the second electrode 140, as shown in FIG. 1. For example, the thickness of each of the first and second electrodes 120 and 140 may range from about 600 Å to about 30000 Å, although the thicknesses may vary to provide unique benefits for any particular situation or to meet application specific design requirements of various implementations, as would be apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art.
  • The multiple layers of the composite first electrode 120 have corresponding thicknesses. For example, the thickness of electrode layer 122 may range from about 400 Å to about 29,900 Å, the thickness of oxide layer 124 may range from about 100 Å to about 5000 Å, and the thickness of conductive interposer layer 126 may range from about 100 Å to about 10000 Å. Each of the layers of the composite first electrode 120 may be varied to produce different. Characteristics with respect to temperature coefficients and coupling coefficients, while the overall first thickness T120 of the composite first electrode 120 remains substantially the same as the overall second thickness T140 of the second electrode 140. For example, the thickness of the oxide layer 124 may be varied to affect the overall temperature coefficient of the acoustic stack 105, and the relative thicknesses of the electrode layer 122 and the conductive interposer layer 126 may be varied to affect the overall coupling coefficient of the resonator device 100.
  • For example, FIG. 2 depicts a cross-sectional view of an acoustic resonator device, according to another representative embodiment, in which thicknesses of electrode and conductive interposer layers are varied, thus “sinking” a buried temperature compensating layer deeper into a composite first electrode (and further away from the active piezoelectric layer 130).
  • More particularly, illustrative resonator device 200 of FIG. 2 includes acoustic stack 205 formed on substrate 110. The acoustic stack 205 includes piezoelectric layer 130 formed between a composite first electrode 220 and a second electrode 140. Like reference numerals in FIGS. 1 and 2 refer to like elements, and therefore corresponding descriptions of like elements will not be repeated.
  • The composite first electrode 220 includes electrode layer 222, buried oxide layer 224 and conductive interposer layer 226 stacked sequentially on the substrate 110, e.g., over the cavity 115. As discussed above with respect to the electrode layer 122 and the conductive interposer layer 126, the electrode layer 222 and the conductive interposer layer 226 are formed of the same or different electrically conductive materials, such as Mo, W, Al, Pt, Ru, Nb or Hf, for example.
  • The buried oxide layer 224 is a temperature compensating layer formed between the electrode layer 222 and the conductive interposer layer 226, such that the buried oxide layer 224 is separated from the piezoelectric layer 130 by the conductive interposer layer 226. Accordingly, the buried oxide layer 224 is effectively buried within the composite first electrode 220. As discussed above with respect to the oxide layer 124, the buried oxide layer 224 may be formed of various materials compatible with semiconductor processes, including BSG, SiO2, Cr or TeO(x), for example, which have positive temperature coefficients, for offsetting negative temperature coefficients of other materials in the acoustic stack 205.
  • As discussed above with reference to FIG. 1, the overall thickness of the composite first electrode 220 is substantially the same as the overall thickness of the second electrode 140, as indicated by first thickness T220 and second thickness T140. However, the thickness T226 of the conductive interposer layer 226 in FIG. 2 is greater than the thickness T126 of the conductive interposer layer 126 in FIG. 1, such that the buried oxide layer 224 has been buried more deeply, i.e., further “sinking,” within the composite first electrode 220 than within the composite first electrode 120. To compensate for the greater thickness T226 of the conductive interposer layer 226, the thickness of the electrode layer 222 in FIG. 2 is less than the thickness T122 of the electrode layer 122 in FIG. 1, so that the overall first thickness T220 of the composite first electrode 220 remains the same as the overall second thickness T140 of the second electrode 140.
  • The thickness of the oxide layer can also be targeted to be thicker (as it is more deeply buried) to help maintain, or minimize, the linear temperature coefficient. In the depicted example, the thickness of the buried oxide layer 224 is the same as the thickness of the oxide layer 124. However, due to the deeper position within the composite first electrode 220, the buried oxide layer 224 causes the coupling coefficient of the resonator device 200 to be relatively greater than the coupling coefficient of the resonator device 100 (at the expense of worsening temperature coefficient). In other words, by adjusting the depth of the oxide layer 124, 224, the coupling coefficient of the resonator device 100, 200 may be optimized. Some of the degradation of the temperature coefficient can be “won back” by thickening the oxide layer 124, 224. Typically, there is an optimum between final temperature coefficient and coupling coefficient (kt2), depending on application.
  • Generally, the thickness and the location of the oxide layer 124, 224 inside the first and second electrode 120, 220 should be optimized, in order to maximize the coupling coefficient for an allowable linear temperature coefficient. This optimization may be accomplished, for example, by modeling an equivalent circuit of the acoustic stack 105, 205 using a Mason model and adjusting the oxide layer 124, 224 by adding more material to the conductive interposer layer 126 and removing material from the electrode layer 122, so the thickness of the composite first electrode 120, 220 remains constant, as would be apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art. Although there is some degradation in the offsetting effects of the temperature coefficient by sinking the oxide layer 124, 224, the coupling coefficient of the resonator device 100, 200 may be improved. An algorithm may be developed to optimize the depth of the oxide layer 124, 224 in the composite first electrode 120, 220 in light of the trade-off between the temperature coefficient and the coupling coefficient, for example, using a multivariate optimization technique, such as a Simplex method, as would be apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art. In addition, the depth of the oxide layer 124, 224, may be limited by various constraints, such as minimum necessary coupling coefficient and maximum allowable temperature coefficient. Likewise, the thickness of the oxide layer 124, 224 may adjusted to provide the optimal coupling coefficient and a minimum overall temperature coefficient of the resonator device 100, 200.
  • Referring again to FIG. 1, in an illustrative configuration of the acoustic stack 105, the oxide layer 124 is formed at a thickness of about 1000 Å using a thin film of BSG (e.g., about two percent by weight boron), which provides a large positive temperature coefficient (e.g., up to about 350 ppm per deg C). Each of the first thickness T120 of the composite first electrode 120 and the second thickness T140 of the second electrode 140 (including a passivation layer) is about 3000 Å. Also, the electrode layer 122 of the composite first electrode 120 and the second electrode 140 are each formed of Mo. The conductive interposer layer 126 is also made of molybdenum, and in this example would be between about 300 Å and about 600 Å. The piezoelectric layer 130 is formed at a thickness of about 11,000 Å using a thin film of AlN. The acoustic stack 105 with this illustrative configuration has a zero linear temperature coefficient value. Only a residual quadratic term is left (where beta is about −22 ppB per degree C2). However, the maximum coupling coefficient for the resonator device 100 of this configuration is only about four percent. In comparison, when the BSG layer is formed outside of the acoustic stack 105 (as in some conventional resonators), the temperature coefficient has a linear term on the order of about −24 ppm per degree C. and a coupling coefficient that should be on the order of 6.5 percent.
  • According to various embodiments, the resonator device may be fabricated using various techniques compatible with semiconductor processes. A non-limiting example of a fabrication process directed to representative resonator device 100 is discussed below with reference to FIG. 3.
  • FIG. 3 is a flow diagram illustrating a method of fabricating a resonator device, according to a representative embodiment.
  • Referring to FIGS. 1 and 3, substrate 110 is provided in block S311 and the electrode layer 122 is applied to a top surface of the substrate 110 in block S312. In an embodiment, the substrate 110 is formed of Si and the electrode layer 122 is formed of W, for example, although different materials may be used, as discussed above, without departing from the scope of the present teachings. The electrode layer 122 may be applied using spin-on, sputtering, evaporation or chemical vapor disposition (CVD) techniques, for example, although other application methods may be incorporated.
  • Notably, formation of the cavity 115 in the substrate 110 may be carried out before fabrication of the acoustic stack 105, wherein the cavity 115 is initially filled with a sacrificial material (not shown), such as phosposilicate glass (PSG) or other release processes, such as polysilicon and xenon difluoride etchant, as would be apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art, during fabrication of layers of the acoustic stack 105. The release of the sacrificial material to form the cavity 115 is carried out using a suitable etchant, such as HF, after fabrication of the layers of the acoustic stack 105 (e.g., after formation of the second electrode 140). In alternative configurations, the cavity 115 may pass through the substrate 110 to form a backside opening, which may be formed by back side etching a bottom surface of the substrate 110. The back side etching may include a dry etch process, such as a Bosch process, for example, although various alternative techniques may be incorporated.
  • Alternatively, the substrate 110 may include an acoustic isolator, such as an acoustic mirror or Bragg Reflectors, rather than the cavity 115, Such acoustic isolator may be formed in the substrate 110 using any technique compatible with semiconductor processes before forming the acoustic stack 105, as would be apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art.
  • In block S313, oxide layer 124 is formed on a top surface of the electrode layer 122, to form a temperature compensating layer. In an embodiment, the oxide layer 124 is formed of BSG, for example, although different materials may be used, as discussed above, without departing from the scope of the present teachings. The oxide layer 124 may be applied using spin-on, sputtering, evaporation or CVD techniques, for example, although other application methods may be incorporated. Various illustrative techniques for forming temperature compensating layers are described, for example, in U.S. Pat. No. 7,561 009 to Larson, III, et al., which is hereby incorporated by reference.
  • In block S314, the oxide layer 124 is etched to a desired size and the edges 124 a are tapered. For example, a photoresist layer (not shown) may be applied to the top surface of the oxide layer 124 and patterned to form a mask or photoresist pattern, using any photoresist patterning technique compatible with semiconductor processes, as would be apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art. The photoresist pattern may be formed by machining or by chemically etching the photoresist layer using photolithography, although various alternative techniques may he incorporated. Following etching of the oxide layer 124, the photoresist pattern is removed, for example, by chemically releasing or etching using a wet etch process including HF etch solution, although the photoresist pattern may be removed by various other techniques, without departing from the scope of the present teachings.
  • In various embodiments, to obtain the tapered edges 124 a, oxygen is leaked into the etcher used to etch the oxide layer 124. The oxide (and/or temperature chuck) causes the photoresist to erode more quickly at the edges of the patterned photo resist and to pull back slightly. This “thinning” of the resist forms a wedge shape profile that is then imprinted into the oxide underneath as the photoresist goes away. Generally, the wedge is created by adjusting the etch rate of resist relative to the etched material, as would be apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art. Meanwhile, further from the edges of the oxide layer 124, there is sufficient photoresist coverage throughout the etch that the underlying oxide material is not touched. Of course, other methods of obtaining tapered edges may be incorporated without departing form the scope of the present teachings.
  • The conductive interposer layer 126 is applied to a top surface of the oxide layer 124 in block S315. The conductive interposer layer 126 is formed of Mo, for example, although different materials may be used, as discussed above, without departing from the scope of the present teachings. The conductive interposer layer 126 may be applied using spin-on, sputtering, evaporation or CVD techniques, for example, although other application methods may be incorporated.
  • In an alternative embodiment, an interim seed layer (not shown) is formed on the top surface of the oxide layer 124 before the oxide layer 124 is etched. The interim seed layer may be formed of the same piezoelectric material as the piezoelectric layer 130, such as AlN, for example. The interim seed layer may be formed to a thickness of about 300 Å, for example, and reduces or minimizes oxide diffusion. from the oxide layer 124 into the piezoelectric layer 130. Outer portions of the interim seed layer are removed by etching, along with the etched portions of the oxide layer 124, to expose portions of the top surface of the electrode layer 122, so that the electrode layer 122 is able to make an electrical connection between with the conductive interposer layer 126. In other words, after etching, the interim seed layer covers only the top surface of the oxide layer 124, so that it is positioned between the oxide layer 124 and the conductive interposer layer 126.
  • In block S316, the piezoelectric layer 130 is applied to a top surface of the conductive interposer layer 126, which is also the top surface of the composite first electrode 120. The piezoelectric layer 130 is formed of AlN, for example, although different materials may be used, as discussed above, without departing from the scope of the present teachings. The piezoelectric layer 130 may be applied using a sputtering technique, for example, although other application methods may be incorporated. For example, the piezoelectric layer 130 may be grown from a seed layer, as discussed above, according to various techniques compatible with semiconductor processes.
  • The second electrode 140 is applied to a top surface of the piezoelectric layer 130 in block S317. The is second electrode 140 formed of W, for example, although different materials may be used, as discussed above, without departing from the scope of the present teachings. The second electrode 140 may be applied using spin-on, sputtering, evaporation or CVD techniques, for example, although other application methods may be incorporated. In various embodiments, the second. electrode 140 includes a passivation layer formed of BSG, SiO2, SiN, polysilicon, or the like.
  • The resonator device 100 may then be cut or separated from a wafer, to the extent necessary, in order to form a singulated die. The resonator device 100 may be separated using various techniques compatible with semiconductor fabrication processes, such as scribe and break, for example.
  • FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of an acoustic resonator device, which includes an electrode having a buried temperature compensating layer, according to a representative embodiment, in which the acoustic stack of the resonator device is reversed, such that the second (top) electrode is a composite electrode, as opposed to the first (bottom) electrode.
  • Referring to FIG. 4, illustrative resonator device 400 includes acoustic stack 405 formed on substrate 410, The substrate 410 may be formed of various types of semiconductor materials, Si, GaAs, 110, or the like, and may include a cavity 415 or an acoustic isolator, as discussed above with respect to substrate 110 in FIG. 1. The acoustic stack 405 includes piezoelectric layer 430 formed between a first electrode 420 and a composite second electrode 440.
  • More particularly, the first electrode 420 is formed of an electrically conductive material, such as W. Mo, Al, Pt, Ru, Nb or Hf, for example, on the substrate 410. The piezoelectric layer 430 is formed of a piezoelectric material, such as AlN, ZnO or PZT, for example, on the first electrode 420. The composite second electrode 440 is formed on the piezoelectric layer 430, such that a buried oxide layer 444 is separated from the piezoelectric layer 430 by a conductive interposer layer 446.
  • For example, in an embodiment, the conductive interposer layer 446 is applied to the top, substantially planar surface of the piezoelectric layer 430 at a desired thickness T446. As discussed above, the thicker the conductive interposer layer 446, the more buried the oxide layer 444 is within the composite second electrode 440 (i.e., further removed from the piezoelectric layer 430). The buried oxide layer 444 is then applied to the top surface of the conductive interposer layer 446 to form a temperature compensating layer. The buried oxide layer 444 may be applied using spin-on, sputtering, evaporation or CVD techniques, for example, although other application methods may be incorporated. Also, the buried oxide layer 444 is etched to a desired size and the edges 444 a may be tapered, as discussed above with respect to the oxide layer 124.
  • The electrode layer 442 is formed over the buried oxide layer 444 and the conductive interposer layer 446. The electrode layer 442 has a thickness T442 (at outer portions, not over the buried oxide layer 444), which may include a passivation layer (not shown), as discussed above. The thickness T442 may vary such that an overall second thickness T440 of the composite second electrode 440 is substantially the same as an overall first thickness T420 of the first electrode 420.
  • As discussed above, the conductive interposer layer 446 and the electrode layer 442 are formed of electrically conductive materials, such W, Mo, Al, Pt, Ru, Nb or Hf, for example. Also, the conductive interposer layer 446 and the electrode layer 422 may be formed of the same or different materials, to provide various benefits or to meet application specific design requirements of various implementations, as would be apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art. In an embodiment, the electrode layer 442 is formed of the same material as the first electrode 420, although the electrode layer 442 and the first electrode 420 may be formed of different materials from one another in alternative embodiments.
  • The buried oxide layer 444 is a temperature compensating layer, formed between the conductive interposer layer 446 and the electrode layer 442, in substantially the same manner discussed above with respect to oxide layer 124. The buried oxide layer 444 may be formed of various materials compatible with semiconductor processes, including BSG, SiO2, SiN, or polysilicon, for example, which have positive temperature coefficients. Because the buried oxide layer 444 does not extend the full width of the acoustic stack 405, the conductive interposer layer 446 forms a DC electrical connection with the electrode layer 442, which effectively “shorts” out a capacitive component of the buried oxide layer 444 and increases a coupling coefficient (kt2) of the resonator stack 400, as discussed above. In addition, the conductive interposer layer 446 provides a barrier that prevents oxygen in the buried oxide layer 444 from diffusing into the piezoelectric layer 430.
  • In various additional embodiments, the acoustic stack of the resonator device may include composite electrodes formed on both the top and bottom surfaces of the piezoelectric layer, without departing from the scope of the present teachings.
  • According to various embodiments, an acoustic stack of a resonator device has at least one composite electrode that includes a buried temperature compensating layer separated from a piezoelectric layer by a conductive interposer layer. The temperature compensating layer has a temperature coefficient that has an opposite sign from a temperature coefficient of at least one other element in the acoustic stack, thus offsetting the effects of that temperature coefficient. Further, the conductive interposer layer effectively shorts out a capacitive component of the temperature compensating layer, which effectively increases a coupling coefficient of the resonator device. Accordingly, this enables more stable operation of the resonator, for example, by preventing shifts in passband due to increases in temperature, while preventing contamination of the piezoelectric material by the material in the temperature compensating layer.
  • The various components, materials, structures and parameters are included by way of illustration and example only and not in any limiting sense. In view of this disclosure, those skilled in the art can implement the present teachings in determining their own applications and needed components, materials, structures and equipment to implement these applications, while remaining within the scope of the appended claims.

Claims (11)

1. An acoustic wave resonator, comprising:
(a) a substrate;
(b) an acoustic reflector formed on the substrate;
(c) a bottom electrode formed on the acoustic reflector;
(d) a piezoelectric layer formed on the bottom electrode; and
(e) a composite structure formed on the piezoelectric layer, comprising: (i) a first electrode formed on the piezoelectric layer; (ii) a temperature compensation layer formed on the first electrode; and (iii) a second electrode formed on the temperature compensation layer and electrically connected to the first electrode.
2. The acoustic wave resonator of claim I, wherein the temperature compensation layer has a temperature coefficient of frequency that is opposite to that of the piezoelectric layer.
3. The acoustic wave resonator of claim 1, wherein the temperature compensation layer is formed with a material of tellurium oxide, silicon oxide, or a combination of them.
4. The acoustic wave resonator of claim 1, wherein the temperature compensation layer is formed to have one or more vias or trenches such that the first electrode and the second electrode are electrically connected to one another through the one or more vias or trenches.
5. An acoustic wave resonator, comprising:
(a) a substrate;
(b) an acoustic reflector formed on the substrate;
(c) a composite structure formed on the acoustic reflector, comprising: (i) a first electrode formed on the acoustic reflector; (ii) a temperature compensation layer formed on the first electrode; and (iii) a second electrode formed on the temperature compensation layer and electrically connected to the first electrode;
(d) a piezoelectric layer formed on the second electrode of the composite structure; and
(e) a top electrode formed on the piezoelectric layer.
6. The acoustic wave resonator of claim 5, wherein the temperature compensation layer has a temperature coefficient of frequency that is opposite to that of the piezoelectric layer.
7. The acoustic wave resonator of claim 5, wherein the temperature compensation layer is formed with a material of tellurium oxide, silicon oxide, or a combination of them.
8. The acoustic wave resonator of claim 5, wherein the temperature compensation layer is formed to have one or more vias or trenches such that the first electrode and the second electrode are electrically connected to one another through the one or more vias or trenches.
9. An acoustic wave resonator, comprising a composite structure comprising:
(a) a first electrode;
(b) a temperature compensation layer formed on the first electrode, wherein the temperature compensation layer has one or more vias or trenches formed therein; and
(c) a second electrode formed on the temperature compensation layer and electrically connected to the first electrode at least through the one or more vias or trenches of the temperature compensation layer.
10. The acoustic wave resonator of claim 1, further comprising:
(a) an acoustic reflector formed on a substrate;
(b) a bottom electrode formed on the acoustic reflector; and
(c) a piezoelectric layer formed on the bottom electrode, wherein t le composite structure is disposed on the piezoelectric layer.
11. The acoustic wave resonator of claim 1, further comprising:
(a) an acoustic reflector formed on a substrate;
(b) a piezoelectric layer formed on the composite structure that in turn, is disposed on the acoustic reflector; and
(c) a top electrode formed on the piezoelectric layer.
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US20120154074A1 (en) 2012-06-21
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US20110266925A1 (en) 2011-11-03
US9479139B2 (en) 2016-10-25

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