SMR 2D Design Study

It is useful to use parametric simulation when designing SMRs because the structure of the device effects many performance aspects. Performing design studies helps engineers optimise their design for frequency range, quality factor and many other key performance characteristics.

In this design study, we simulate a 2D SMR to analyse the effect of number of Bragg layers and AlN thickness on the electrical performance.

Model Description

This simple SMR model consists of an Aluminum Nitride active layer on top multiples layers of  Silicon Dioxide and Tungsten on a Silicon substrate. The Bragg layers between the active layer and the substrate are typically used to reduce substrate losses in the SMR to maintain a high quality factor, a key performance metric for these types of filters.  


Download and Open the Model

Download: SMR 2D

OnScale Input Files have the file extension *.flxinp. To open the downloaded file:

  1. Open OnScale 
  2. Select Analyst Mode
  3. Select the Menu button in the top left of the application
  4. Select Open

Preview Model

Preview model is used to see the geometry dimensions and material assignment of your model to check your script is correct. To preview a model, select the Preview Model icon in the Home tab of the application ribbon.


Note: Preview model will display data from any grph commands that come before the prcs command. If you have more than one grph command, you can cycle through the graphics by continuously selecting Preview Model. To close the preview, select Stop Preview.

Run Model on Cloud

We are going to run a sweep of AlN thickness and Top Electrode thickness. This is done in the Cloud Scheduler. To open the Cloud Scheduler select the Run on Cloud button in the Home tab of the application and follow these steps:

  1. Set End Value of aln_thk to 3.25e-6
  2. Set number of Simulations of aln_thk to 10
  3. Set End Value of nlayers to 5
  4. Set number of Simulations of nlayers to 5
  5. Select Estimate
  6. Select Run

Note: To sweep variables on the cloud, they must be defined as symbx variables in the input file.

Download Results

  1. From the Home tab, select the Storage icon
  2. Select the Refresh icon to refresh storage
  3. Select the Job Name from the dropdown menu
  4. Select all Simulation folders using SHIFT + Select
  5. Right click on a Simulation folder and select Download Selection By Type > .flxhst

Choose a directory to download the results to. These results will be stored in the folder: SMR_2D-YYYYMMDD-HHMMSS\X where YYYYMMDD-HHMMSS is the current date and time and X is the simulation number.

Switch to Post Processor

Post Processor is a suite of tools used to visualise and analyse output data generated from OnScale simulations. Switch to Post Post Processor.


What kind of analysis can I do in Post Processor? Find out here.

Analyse Results

Post Processor

To plot the impedance of some of the simulations, follow these steps:

  1. In File Explorer, navigate to the download directory, expand folder Simulation 5 and double click the file 'SMR_2D.flxhst' to open it
  2. Repeat Step 1 for files in Simulation 10, 15 and 20
  3. In Results Manager, select the first voltage time history 'pize top:Voltage' by left clicking it
  4. From the Home tab of the ribbon, select the Impedance icon to calculate impedance
  5. In the Frequency History section of the Results Manager, double click the first 'Impd:top.amp' to plot impedance amplitude
  6. Repeat Steps 3-5 for the second, third and fourth curves
  7. In Plot Controls, tick Log yAxis
  8. In Plot Controls, set xAxis Minimum to 1.8e9 and Maximum to 2.2e9
  9. In Plot Controls, set yAxis Minimum to 9.84 and Maximum to 5e3
  10. Click on plot legend and name the curves
    1. aln_thk= 2.75 um
    2. aln_thk = 2.8 um
    3. aln_thk = 2.86 um
    4. aln_thk = 2.9 um


Batch Post-Processing

Dealing with large data-sets is usually easier in a code based processing package such as MATLAB. This is why we have created a MATLAB script which calculates Fs, Fp and Q for all of the 100 simulations.

Download: MATLAB Files

  1. Navigate to the directory which the MATLAB Files where downloaded to
  2. Right click the MATLAB Files folder and select Extract All > Extract
  3. Open the MATLAB Files folder and copy the contents into the SMR_2D-YYYYMMDD-HHMMSS directory where all of the simulation folders are
  4. Open KPIs.m in MATLAB
  5. Select Run


Note: If you don't have MATLAB, similar results can be displayed using Octave, Python etc.

What's Next?

Simulate a Full 3D SMR