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SAW devices operating at the fundamental frequency and the 5th, 7th, 9th, and 11th harmonics have been designed, fabricated, and measured. Devices were fabricated on GaN thin films on sapphire substrates, which were grown via metal organic vapor phase epitaxy (MOVPE). Operating frequencies of 230, 962, 1338, 1720, and 2100 MHz were achieved with devices that had a fundamental wavelength, /spl lambda/0 = 20 /spl mu/m. Gigahertz operation is realized with relatively large interdigital transducers that do not require complicated submicrometer fabrication techniques. SAW devices fabricated on the GaN/sapphire bilayer have an anisotropic propagation when the wavelength is longer than the GaN film thickness. It is shown that for GaN thin films, where khGaN > 10 (k = 2/spl pi///spl lambda/ and hGaN = GaN film thickness), effects of the substrate on the SAW propagation are eliminated. Bulk mode suppression at harmonic operation is also demonstrated.