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Highly c-axis oriented aluminum nitride (AlN) thin piezoelectric films have been grown on polycrystalline diamond substrates by pulsed direct current (DC) magnetron reactive sputter-deposition. The films were deposited at a substrate temperature below 50/spl deg/C (room temperature) and had a typical full width half maximum (FWHM) value of the rocking curve of the AlN-002-peak of 2.1 degrees. A variety of one-port surface acoustic wave (SAW) resonators have been designed and fabricated on top of the AlN films. The measurements indicate that various SAW modes are excited. The SAW phase velocities of up to 11.800 m/s have been measured. These results are in agreement with calculated dispersion curves of the AlN/diamond structure. Finally, the coupling of modes parameters have been extracted from S/sub 11/ measurements using curve fitting for the first SAW mode, which indicate an effective coupling K/sup 2/ of 0.91% and a Q factor of about 600 at a frequency of 1050 MHz.