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Proceedings Paper

MEMS high-Q tunable capacitor for reconfigurable microwave integrated circuits
Author(s): Christopher D. Nordquist; Arnoldo Muyshondt; Michael V. Pack; Patrick S. Finnegan; Christopher W. Dyck; Isak C. Reines; Garth M. Kraus; George R. Sloan; Charles T. Sullivan
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Paper Abstract

Future microwave networks require miniature high-performance tunable elements such as switches, inductors, and capacitors. We report a micro-machined high-performance tunable capacitor suitable for reconfigurable monolithic microwave integrated circuits (MMICs). The capacitor is fabricated on a GaAs substrate using low-temperature processing, making it suitable for post-process integration with MMICs, radio frequency integrated circuits (RFICs) and other miniaturized circuits. Additionally, the insulating substrate and high-conductivity metal provide low-loss operation at frequencies over 20 GHz. The device demonstrates a capacitance of 150 fF at 0 V bias, pull-in at about 15 V to 18 V, and further linear tuning from 290 fF to 350 fF over a voltage range of 7 V to 30 V. Also, the device demonstrates self-resonance frequencies over 50 GHz, and Q’s over 100 at 10 GHz. To enable integration into circuits, a simple equivalent circuit model of the device has been developed, demonstrating a good match to the measured data through 25 GHz. Initial testing to 1 billion cycles indicates that metal fatigue is the primary limitation to reliability and reproducibility, and that dielectric charging does not have a significant impact on the device. This device is promising for high-performance tunable filters, phase shifters, and other reconfigurable networks at frequencies through K-band.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 January 2003
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 4981, MEMS Components and Applications for Industry, Automobiles, Aerospace, and Communication II, (16 January 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.480768
Show Author Affiliations
Christopher D. Nordquist, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
Arnoldo Muyshondt, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
Michael V. Pack, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
Patrick S. Finnegan, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
Christopher W. Dyck, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
Isak C. Reines, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
Garth M. Kraus, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
George R. Sloan, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
Charles T. Sullivan, Sandia National Labs. (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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