Simulation of Nonlinear Resonance, Amplitude-Frequency, and Harmonic Generation Effects in SAW and BAW Devices

Xiangnan Pang, Yook Kong Yong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Nonlinearly coupled sets of piezoelectric field equations in the frequency domain were derived for the nonlinear propagation of finite-amplitude waves in piezoelectric bulk acoustic wave (BAW) and surface acoustic wave (SAW) devices. To verify their accuracy, we have embedded these sets of equations in the finite-element method (FEM) of COMSOL Multiphysics software and compared the FEM results with both the analytical and experimental results found in the published literature. The nonlinear frequency responses for both plano- and contoured-plate resonators of AT-cut quartz were investigated under various voltage drives, circuit resistances, and quality factors. The proposed equations with FEM have also been employed to study 33.3-MHz very-high-frequency (VHF) quartz resonators, showing that under different conditions of how well the third overtone mode (f3) matches the third harmonic (3f) and how the fractional frequency shift of the third overtone mode (f3) occurs as a function of the fundamental mode current. Furthermore, we have studied the nonlinear harmonic generation of an 840-MHz 128° Y-cut X-propagating (128° YX) LiNbO3 SAW resonator. The second-harmonic (H2) and third-harmonic (H3) modes were observed to occur, respectively, at two-time (2f) and three-time (3f) frequencies of fundamental frequency (f) when such resonators were driven with high power. The effects of substrate thickness, bottom surface conditions of the substrate, and different circuit connections on the H2 and H3 generations were simulated and compared with available measurements. Current proposed sets of equations are general and could be used for the study of nonlinear resonance, amplitude-frequency effect, and harmonic generation in any piezoelectric devices, provided that the necessary nonlinear material constants are known.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8859385
Pages (from-to)422-430
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Instrumentation
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Amplitude-frequency effect
  • finite-element method (FEM)
  • nonlinear behaviors of bulk acoustic wave (BAW) and surface acoustic wave (SAW) resonators
  • nonlinear harmonic generation
  • nonlinear resonance
  • quartz and LiNbO3 resonators

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