New temperature-compensated piezoelectric substrates from Ziptronix help improve the performance of a wide range of wireless communication and consumer electronic devices. Based on the company's ZiROC room-temperature covalent bonding process, the substrates combine low-cost piezoelectric materials, such as lithium tantalate and lithium niobate, with glass, quartz, or other materials that offer a low coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE). The resulting material offers the functionality of the piezo material while minimizing the unfavorable effect from the high CTE of piezoelectrics alone.
A major application is piezo-based RF filters with improved frequency stability for cell phones and high-frequency wireless LANs. Temperature-compensated piezo substrates enable inexpensive surface-acoustic-wave (SAW) filters to serve applications previously accessible only by higher-cost alternatives. Devices that can be made cost-effectively include resonant devices, multimode frequency agile oscillators, Nyquist filters, and synchronous/asynchronous convolvers. The ZiROC process minimizes design tradeoffs of SAW filters and provides reduced loss and increased blockage (see the figure). Pricing for lots of up to 10 bonded wafer pairs begins at $13,000. Delivery is within two to three weeks after receipt of materials. Volume pricing varies based on the type of material and quantity.