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The paper describes how the characteristics of leaky surface acoustic wave (LSAW) propagation depend on the thickness of Al grating electrodes on rotated Y-X LiTaO/sub 3/. It is shown that the propagation loss arising from leaky nature changes parabolically with both the grating electrode thickness and rotation angle and becomes zero when electrode thickness and rotation angle are properly determined. This means that even when thick grating electrodes are needed in device design, zero propagation loss is always realized by properly determining the rotation angle. When the grating electrode thickness is 0.07 to 0.1 in wavelength for example, LSAWs on 40-42/spl deg/Y-X LiTaO/sub 3/ give zero propagation loss without deteriorating other characteristics. Ladder-type filters for the 800-MHz range were fabricated, which essentially need thick Al grating electrodes of about 0.1 wavelength thickness. As predicted by theoretical calculation, experimental results showed that if the rotation angle is increased to circa 42/spl deg/ from a conventional value of 38/spl deg/, the insertion loss and shape factor are markedly improved compared with devices based on 36/spl deg/Y-X LiTaO/sub 3/. This is essentially a result of the minimized propagation loss.