Extreme acoustic anisotropy in crystals visualized by diffraction tensor
National University of Science and Technology MISIS, 4 Leninsky Prospekt, 119049, Moscow, Russia
Accepted: 5 January 2021
Published online: 18 January 2021
Anisotropic acoustic wave propagation in single crystals is a fundamental phenomenon enabling operation of various acoustic, acousto-electronic and acousto-optic devices. It provides a variety of device performances and application fields, but its role in pre-estimation of achievable device characteristics and location of crystal orientations with desired properties is often underestimated. A geometrical image of acoustic anisotropy can be an important tool in design of devices based on wave propagation in single crystals or combinations of anisotropic materials. We propose a fast and robust method for survey and visualization of acoustic anisotropy based on calculation of the eigenvalues of bulk acoustic wave (BAW) diffraction tensor (curvature of the slowness surface). The stereographic projection of these eigenvalues clearly reveals singular directions of BAW propagation (conical acoustic axes) in anisotropic media and areas with large and small BAW beam divergence. The method is illustrated by application to three crystals of different symmetry used in different types of acoustic devices: paratellurite, lithium niobate and potassium gadolinium tungstate. The specific features of acoustic anisotropy are discussed for each crystal in terms of their potential application in devices. In addition, we demonstrate that visualization of acoustic anisotropy of lithium niobate helps to find orientations supporting propagation of high-velocity surface acoustic waves.
© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Società Italiana di Fisica and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2021