Investigating Substrate Loss in MEMS Acoustic Resonators and On-Chip Inductors

Liuqing Gao, Yansong Yang, Songbin Gong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This work studies the influence of substrate loss on the performance of acoustic resonators and on-chip inductors and investigates the effective substrate resistivity of seven commonly used substrates in silicon-based devices. The substrates include X-cut lithium niobate (LiNbO3) film with two different thicknesses (400 nm and 1.6 μm ) on high-resistivity Si (HR-Si) and amorphous Si wafers, SiO2 film with two different thicknesses on HR-Si, and bare HR-Si. The effective resistivities of these substrates are extracted using coplanar waveguides (CPWs) over a frequency range from 1 to 40 GHz. Using the effective resistivity approach, the efficiency of two substrate loss reduction techniques - Si wafer removal and amorphous Si - in reducing substrate loss is quantified. Comparison of the extracted substrate resistivities of the suspended and un-suspended dielectric-on-Si structures and comparison of LiNbO3 on HR-Si and amorphous Si are carried out. Substrate loss reduction techniques are more advantageous for a thinner dielectric film and at a lower frequency range due to the higher filling factor of the electric field in the Si wafer. Finally, by comparison of the effective substrate resistivity of SiO2 film on an HR-Si with bare HR-Si, thick plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) SiO2 film is found to be a good insulation layer to reduce substrate loss.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2178-2189
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2022


  • Coplanar waveguide
  • effective resistivity
  • lithium niobate
  • microelectromechanical systems (MEMSs)
  • millimeter-wave devices

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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