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There is a pressing need for the fabrication of surface acoustic wave (SAW) devices capable of operating in harsh environments, at elevated temperature and pressure, or under high power conditions. These SAW devices operate as frequency-control elements, signal-processing filters, and pressure, temperature , and gas sensors. Applications include gas and oil wells, high-power duplexers in communication systems, and automobile and aerospace combustion engines. Under these high-temperature and power-operating conditions, which can reach several hundred degrees centigrade, the typically fabricated aluminum (Al) thin film interdigital transducer (IDT) fails due to electro and stress migration. This work reports on high temperature SAW transducers that have been designed, fabricated, and tested on langasite (LGS) piezoelectric substrates. Platinum (Pt) and palladium (Pd) (melting points at 1769/spl deg/C and 1554.9/spl deg/C, respectively) have been used as thin metallic films for the SAW IDTs fabricated. Zirconium (Zr) was originally used as an adhesion layer on the fabricated SAW transducers to avoid migration into the Pt or Pd metallic films. The piezoelectric LGS crystal, used as the substrate upon which the SAW devices were fabricated, does not exhibit any phase transition up to its melting point at 1470/spl deg/C. A radio frequency (RF) test and characterization system capable of withstanding 1000/spl deg/C has been designed and constructed. The LGS SAW devices with Pt and Pd electrodes and the test system have been exposed to temperatures in the range of 250/spl deg/C to 750/spl deg/C over periods of up to 6 weeks, with the Saw devices showing a reduced degradation better than 7 dB in the magnitude of transmission coefficient, |S/sub 21/|, with respect to room temperature. These results qualify the Pt and Pd LGS SAW IDTs fabricated for the above listed modern applications in harsh environments.