Wireless, RF & Smart Dust

Research that includes:

  • Tuneable RF components: capacitors, inductors, transformers
  • RF microrelays
  • High frequency MEMS resonators: devices, structures, and processes

Qianyi Xie

Applied Science and Technology
Professor Clark T.-C. Nguyen (Advisor)
Ph.D. 2022

Qianyi Xie is a Ph.D. candidate in Prof. Clark Nguyen's group. He received his B.E. degree in Microelectronics from Tsinghua University in 2016.

NT18: MEMS RF Switch with Liquid Gallium Contacts

Qingquan Liu

A self-healing MEMS RF switch, which utilizes liquid gallium contacts to take the place of the traditional metal-to-metal hard contacts, is proposed in this project. Electrostatic actuation is used to drive a silicon nitride diaphragm with upper electrodes. When the diaphragm is pulled down by the electrostatic force, small droplets of liquid gallium work as an interface between the upper and lower electrodes. The loss of the gallium droplets can be avoided due to the unwettability of the material surrounding the contact areas. In this project, hermit package and 1A DC current...

NT11: Tunable Inductors and Transformers Utilizing Electro-Thermal Vibromotors

Wen-Pin Shih
Zhihong Li

The goal of this project is to develop on-chip tunable inductors and tunable transformers which have high inductance value and high tuning ratios. The potential applications include performance optimization and functionality enhancement to wireless communication, magnetic microsensors, and micromagnetic power devices, such as dc/dc converter.

Project end date: 08/18/04

NT13: RF Dielectric Fluid Immersed Silicon MEMS Tunable Capacitors

Daniel T. McCormick
Zhihong Li

The objective of this project is to develop micro-electromechanical tunable capacitors employing dielectric fluids. In the case of electrostatic, mechanically tunable capacitors the goal is to increase the capacitance per unit area and the tuning range, reduce the mechanical noise and also improve mechanical performance and long-term reliability.

Project end date: 08/18/04

NT14: A Variable Inductor Array Using Lateral-Contact Microrelays

Ye Wang
Zhihong Li

The objective of this project is to develop a variable inductor array using lateral-contact microrelays to provide a wide tuning range and design flexibility for building blocks using passive RF MEMS components in wireless communication systems.

Project end date: 01/27/04

BPN871: An Ultrasonic Implantable for Continuous In Vivo Monitoring of Tissue Oxygenation

Soner Sonmezoglu

Our group previously demonstrated a “neural dust” system for neural recording which includes an implantable device and external ultrasonic transducers to power and communicate with the implantable. In this work, we extend that paradigm, demonstrating an implantable that can measure and report tissue oxygenation. Oxygenation state is a key parameter when assessing the metabolic state of cells and tissues, tissue and organ viability, tumor state, among many examples in both basic science and clinical care. Various types of methods for the detection of oxygen have appeared in recent...

BPN939: Analysis and Benchmarking of MEMS-Based Super-Regenerative Receivers

Kevin H. Zheng

The recent MEMS-based super-regenerative receiver our group demonstrated used a tunable 65-nm-capacitive-gap transduced wine-glass disk resonator to receive and demodulate OOK signals with only 490uW of power consumption. This work aims to analyze the sensitivity and maximum bit rate for this class of receiver in the presence of adjacent-channel blockers and measure these characteristics for receivers implemented using resonators with sub-40-nm gaps.

Project suspended for Fall 2022

BPN848: Wireless Neural Sensors: Robust Ultrasonic Backscatter Communication in the Brain

David Piech

Brain-machine interfaces provide an artificial conduit to send information to and from the brain, and modulate activity in the brain. These systems have shown great promise in clinical, scientific, and human-computer interaction contexts, but the low reward/risk ratio of today’s invasive neural interfaces has limited their use to an extremely niche clinical patient population. It has been shown that ultrasonic backscatter communication can enable the sensing and stimulation of neural activity with extremely small wireless implants, which can both improve performance and reduce risk....

BSAC's Best: Fall 2020 Oral Presentation Winners Announced

September 24, 2020

BSAC would like to thank all of the researchers who presented their research during BSAC's Fall 2020 Research Review, September 21-23.

BSAC Industrial Members voted for their favorite oral presentations and the results are in. Please join us in congratulating the winners of the Fall 2020 Best of BSAC honors, Mallika Bariya and Daniel Teal!


BPN866: Wide-Bandwidth UHF Bandpass Filters

Kieran Peleaux
QianYi Xie

This project aims to explore the physical limitation of Capacitive- Piezoelectric resonator and Capacitively-transduced resonator for the realization of wide-bandwidth bandpass filters at UHF and oscillators.