Acoustics and optics for nanosciences and quantum physics – Electrical generation of surface acoustic waves

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Generation and detection of surface acoustic waves via interdigital transducers

Surface acoustic waves are excited by interdigital combs (IDT) lithographed on the sample. IDTs are usually excited by wave trains provided by a sinusoidal frequency synthesizer, pulse-modulated and possibly amplified.

This IDT emits a surface acoustic wave that propagates through the medium. It is picked up by a twin IDT. The received acoustic signal is sent to a detection system and analyzed in phase and amplitude. The sample is thermalized and placed in a controlled magnetic field.


  • Fréquence jusqu’à 5 GHz, 2 GHz routine


  • HP 100 kHz -> 1 GHz
  • Keysight 9 kHz -> 6 GHz


  • SCD 10 watts (46 dB gain), bandwidth 10 MHz – 1GHZ
  • AR 10 W, bandwidth 10 MHz – 1GHz
  • Ophir 15 watts, bandwidth 0.7 – 6 GHz
  • Circulators

On the sample

  • Variable temperature
  • Variable magnetic field < 0.4 T (electromagnet)


  • Rhodes and Schwartz Oscilloscope RTO 1014 – 1 GHz – 10 GSa/s
  • Tektronix DPO Oscilloscope 71254C – 12GHz – 100 GSa/s
  • Mixers, separators, HF fast switches
  • Low Noise Amplifiers 1GHz – 20 dB

Other equipment

  • Vector Network Analyzer (VNA 2 ports) Rhodes and Schwartz ZNB 9kHz -> 8.5 GHz


Broad-band FMR measurement capability with microwave and VNA tracks.