Surface acoustic wave characterization of optical sol-gel thin layers

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Controlling the thin film deposition and mechanical properties of materials is a major challenge in several fields of application. We are more particularly interested in the characterization of optical thin layers produced using sol-gel processes to reduce laser-induced damage. The mechanical properties of these coatings must be known to control and maintain optimal performance under various solicitations during their lifetime. It is therefore necessary to have means of characterization adapted to the scale and nature of the deposited materials. In this context, the dispersion of ultrasonic surface waves induced by a micrometric layer was studied on an amorphous substrate (fused silica) coated with a layer of ormosil using a sol-gel process. Our ormosil material is a silica-PDMS mixture with a variable polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) content. The design and implementation of Surface Acoustic Wave InterDigital Transducers (SAW-IDT) have enabled quasi-monochromatic Rayleigh-type SAW to be generated and the dispersion phenomenon to be studied over a wide frequency range. Young’s modulus and Poisson’s ratio of coatings were estimated using an inverse method.

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