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Mechanisms responsible for microwave properties in high performance dielectric materials

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Microwave properties of low-loss commercial dielectric materials are optimized by adding transition-metal dopants or alloying agents (i.e. Ni, Co, Mn) to tune the temperature coefficient of resonant frequency (τf) to zero. This occurs as a result of the temperature dependence

Microwave properties of low-loss commercial dielectric materials are optimized by adding transition-metal dopants or alloying agents (i.e. Ni, Co, Mn) to tune the temperature coefficient of resonant frequency (τf) to zero. This occurs as a result of the temperature dependence of dielectric constant offsetting the thermal expansion. At cryogenic temperatures, the microwave loss in these dielectric materials is dominated by electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) loss, which results from the spin-excitations of d-shell electron spins in exchange-coupled clusters. We show that the origin of the observed magnetically-induced shifts in the dielectric resonator frequency originates from the same mechanism, as described by the Kramers-Kronig relations. The temperature coefficient of resonator frequency, τf, is related to three material parameters according to the equation, τf = - (½ τε + ½ τµ + αL), where τε, τµ, and αL are the temperature coefficient of dielectric constant, magnetic permeability, and lattice constant, respectively. Each of these parameters for dielectric materials of interest are measured experimentally. These results, in combination with density functional simulations, developed a much improved understanding of the fundamental mechanisms responsible for τf. The same experimental methods have been used to characterize in-situ the physical nature and concentration of performance-degrading point defects in the dielectrics of superconducting planar microwave resonators.

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Date Created
2016

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Mechanisms of microwave loss tangent in high performance dielectric materials

Description

The mechanism of loss in high performance microwave dielectrics with complex perovskite structure, including Ba(Zn1/3Ta2/3)O3, Ba(Cd1/3Ta2/3)O3, ZrTiO4-ZnNb2O6, Ba(Zn1/3Nb2/3)O3, and BaTi4O9-BaZn2Ti4O11, has been investigated. We studied materials synthesized in our own lab and from commercial vendors. Then the measured loss tangent

The mechanism of loss in high performance microwave dielectrics with complex perovskite structure, including Ba(Zn1/3Ta2/3)O3, Ba(Cd1/3Ta2/3)O3, ZrTiO4-ZnNb2O6, Ba(Zn1/3Nb2/3)O3, and BaTi4O9-BaZn2Ti4O11, has been investigated. We studied materials synthesized in our own lab and from commercial vendors. Then the measured loss tangent was correlated to the optical, structural, and electrical properties of the material. To accurately and quantitatively determine the microwave loss and Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) spectra as a function of temperature and magnetic field, we developed parallel plate resonator (PPR) and dielectric resonator (DR) techniques. Our studies found a marked increase in the loss at low temperatures is found in materials containing transition metal with unpaired d-electrons as a result of resonant spin excitations in isolated atoms (light doping) or exchange coupled clusters (moderate to high doping) ; a mechanism that differs from the usual suspects. The loss tangent can be drastically reduced by applying static magnetic fields. Our measurements also show that this mechanism significantly contributes to room temperature loss, but does not dominate. In order to study the electronic structure of these materials, we grew single crystal thin film dielectrics for spectroscopic studies, including angular resolved photoemission spectroscopy (ARPES) experiment. We have synthesized stoichiometric Ba(Cd1/3Ta2/3)O3 [BCT] (100) dielectric thin films on MgO (100) substrates using Pulsed Laser Deposition. Over 99% of the BCT film was found to be epitaxial when grown with an elevated substrate temperature of 635 C, an enhanced oxygen pressures of 53 Pa and a Cd-enriched BCT target with a 1 mol BCT: 1.5 mol CdO composition. Analysis of ultra violet optical absorption results indicate that BCT has a bandgap of 4.9 eV.

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2013