Materials such as langasite (La3Ga5SiO14) and related compounds are promising candidates for piezoelectric applications at high temperatures. In particular, langasite does not exhibit phase transformations up to the melting point of 1470 °C. Langasite was investigated with respect to potential applications in high temperature resonator devices. In contrast to current resonator materials, we have observed bulk oscillations at temperatures of up to 750 °C in langasite devices. At 700 °C the mass load response for 0.78 mm thick resonators is approximately 0.10 µg/Hz.
At elevated temperatures, the bulk resistivity of the resonator devices cannot be neglected due to attenuation of the resonance signal. Therefore, the temperature dependence of the electrical properties of langasite resonator devices, including bulk resistivity, capacity and resonance frequency were measured and are presented. The electrical conductivity is characterized by an activation energy of 105 kJ/mol. In order to confirm langasites stability with respect to oxidation-reduction reactions, we examined the oxygen diffusivity by measuring 18O tracer profiles by SIMS. The diffusivity along the Y-axis is given by D = 5-10−5 exp(-140 kJ/mol / RT) cm2/s in the temperature range from 500 to 800 °C. Langasite shows low oxygen diffusion coefficients with respect to other materials which might be investigated using a langasite microbalance. This would, for example, enable oxygen diffusion kinetics to be examined in YBa2Cu3O6 at 600 °C by means of 18O/16O exchange.