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IEEE Trans Ultrason Ferroelectr Freq Control. 2012 Jun;59(6):1212-8. doi: 10.1109/TUFFC.2012.2311.

High-resolution imaging of gigahertz polarization response arising from the interference of reflected surface acoustic waves.

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Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, The University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada.


The surface polarization caused by traveling SAWs at 1.585 GHz has been imaged using a dynamic homodyne electrostatic force microscope technique. Instead of measuring topographic changes caused by the SAW, the reported technique measures polarization in the piezoelectric substrate arising from mechanical stress caused by the SAW. The polarization associated with this stress field modulates the scanning probe cantilever deflection amplitude, which is extracted using a lock-in-based technique. High-resolution imaging is presented with images of the interference arising from a metal reflector on a SAW device. A mathematical model combining SAW generation and force interactions between the probe and the substrate was used to verify the experimental data. In addition to overcoming the challenge associated with detecting and imaging polarization effects at gigahertz frequencies, this imaging technique will greatly assist the development of SAW-based devices that exploit the reflection and interference of SAWs in areas as diverse as microfluidic mixing, cell sorting, and quantum entanglement.

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