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Proceedings Paper

RF MEMS and reconfigurable antennas for communication systems
Author(s): K. J. Vinoy; Hargsoon Yoon; Taeksoo Ji; Vijay K. Varadan
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Paper Abstract

This paper explores the usefulness of RF MEMS and reconfigurable antennas in the context of modern communication systems and other applications. Simulation studies on a fractal antennas with switches and phase shifters provide beam steering and beam scanning characteristics. A brief description of the design aspects of two MEMS based coplanar waveguide (CPW) phase shifters for microwave and millimeter wave antenna applications are also provided here. One phase shifter design consists of a unique bilateral interdigital structure on a silicon substrate deposited with a thin film of electrically tunable barium strontium titanate. The dielectric constant of the thin film, and hence the effective permittivity of the transmission line changes by the application of a bias voltage. The second device is a distributed microelectromechanical system (MEMS) phase shifter fabricated on a high resistivity silicon substrate using microstereolithography technique is presented here. The distributed MEMS phase shifter consists of a high-impedance CPW transmission line and several MEMS bridges of uniform height. By applying a voltage the height of these bridges can be adjusted. This results in a variation in the distributed capacitance of the segment of the transmission line, which manifests in the phase shift at the output terminal. The fabrication procedure described here shows significant promise for the use of microstereolithography techniques for RF MEMS devices.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 January 2003
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 4981, MEMS Components and Applications for Industry, Automobiles, Aerospace, and Communication II, (16 January 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.479562
Show Author Affiliations
K. J. Vinoy, The Pennsylvania State Univ. (United States)
Hargsoon Yoon, The Pennsylvania State Univ. (United States)
Taeksoo Ji, The Pennsylvania State Univ. (United States)
Vijay K. Varadan, The Pennsylvania State Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4981:
MEMS Components and Applications for Industry, Automobiles, Aerospace, and Communication II
Siegfried W. Janson, Editor(s)

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