ZnO films were prepared on unheated silicon substrate by RF magnetron sputtering technique. Postdeposition annealing of ZnO films in vacuum were found to improve film structure and electrical characteristics, such as dense structure, smooth surface, stress relief and increasing resistivity. Suitable annealing temperature also reduced loss factor. The correlation between annealing conditions and the physical structure of the films (crystalline structure and microstructure) was investigated by X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM). The preferred annealing condition has been found to improve ZnO film characteristics for piezoelectric applications. An over-mode acoustic resonator using the ZnO film after annealing at 400 °C in vacuum circumstance for 1 h showed a large return loss of 42 dB at the center frequency of 1.957 GHz.
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