Wireless, RF & Smart Dust

Research that includes:

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

BPN682: Strong I/O Coupled High-Q Micromechanical Filters

Robert A. Schneider

This project improves the Q-factors of piezoelectric aluminum nitride (AlN) resonators by detaching their electrodes and suspending them at close distance. These devices are then used to make high-Q filters. "Capacitive-piezo" transduction, as it is called, allows for simultaneous low motional impedance (10-1000 Ohm) and high-Q (Q>8,800) performance for AlN resonators at VHF and UHF frequencies. The main advantage of these devices over capacitive resonators is their much stronger electromechanical coupling, e.g., Cx/C0>1.0%, enabling kt^2*Q figures of merit exceeding those of...

BPN574: On-Chip Micro-Inductor

Kisik Koh
Chen Yang

On-chip inductors are key passive elements to high-power and radio frequency (RF) integrated circuits (ICs). This project aims to realize super-compact on-chip micro-inductor with magnetic media for high-power and RF IC's, including: 1) to explore low-loss, high resonance frequency magnetic material for inductor application; 2) to develop magnetic-material integration process; 3) to realize the super-compact magnetic-embedded inductor. The long-term objectives for this project are to resolve the current problem of lacking compact-size high-performance on-chip inductors, and then...

BPN707: Automated Passband Tuning of High-Order Microelectromechanical Filters

Henry G. Barrow

This project aims to develop multi-resonator micromechanical electronic filters for use in communication systems requiring bandpass filters with sharp rolloffs and large stopband rejections. A complete analysis of the design, fabrication and testing of filters comprised of 2-8 micromechanical resonators coupled by flexural mode springs will establish a greater understanding this exciting MEMS device. In addition, the implementation of an automated tuning scheme will provide complete corrective control over the filter’s passband by negating the effects of fabrication error....

BPN359: Micromechanical Disk Resonator-Based Oscillators

Thura Lin Naing
Tristan Rocheleau

This project aims to build and test micromechanical-based frequency synthesizer components that meet or exceed the requirements of the GSM standard. Towards these goals, the project investigates short and long-term stability of MEMS-based oscillators, particularly, phase noise and acceleration sensitivity. In addition to providing a highly accurate, on-chip frequency reference, a fully-integrated oscillator can achieve greater stability (particularly acceleration sensitivity) and far less power consumption than any comparable off-chip oscillator. In the process of achieving a fully-...

RMW29: Electric Power Sensing for Demand Response

Christopher Sherman

The overarching goal of this UCB project is to identify and develop technology to enable more-effective use of electric power. This phase has primarily focused on the development of small, inexpensive, low-power proximity-based sensors for voltage and current monitoring for better granularity of monitoring at multiple levels of the power grid (distribution, customer, and individual appliances). The term 'demand response' (DR) refers to the ability of electricity users to respond automatically to time- and location-dependent electric energy price and supply contingency information in...

BPN709: Tunable & Switchable Micromechanical RF Filters

Lingqi Wu

This project aims to explore the use of on-chip capacitively transduced micromechanical resonators to realize RF filters with substantial size and performance advantages. With their extremely high quality factor in UHF range and strong coupling coefficient enabled by nanometer electrode-to-resonator gap spacings, capacitive-gap transduced micromechanical resonators should be able to realize reconfigurable RF channel select filters for future cognitive radio applications.

Project end date: 08/25/15

BPN683: OpenWSN: A Standards-Based Low-Power Wireless Development Environment

Nicola Accettura

The OpenWSN project is an open-source implementation of a fully standards-based protocol stack for capillary networks, rooted in the new IEEE802.15.4e Time Synchronized Channel Hopping standard. The novel IETF 6TiSCH protocols make IEEE802.15.4e TSCH perfectly interfaced with well-known Internet-of-Things IETF standards, such as 6LoWPAN, RPL and CoAP, thus enabling ultra-low power and highly reliable mesh networks which are fully integrated into the Internet. The resulting protocol stack will be cornerstone to the upcoming Machine-to-Machine revolution. OpenWSN is ported to numerous...

BPN676: Q-Boosted Optomechanical Oscillators

Turker Beyazoglu
Tristan Rocheleau

This project aims to demonstrate Radiation Pressure driven Optomechanical Oscillators (RP-OMOs) with low phase noise and low power operation suitable for various applications in optical and RF communications. In particular, chip scale atomic clocks with low power consumption can be realized by replacing its power-hungry quartz-based microwave synthesizer with the proposed RP-OMO structure. The Q-boosted RP-OMO design approach of this work makes it possible to optimize both optical and mechanical design to simultaneously reduce the phase noise and threshold power of these oscillators...

BPN789: Reconfigurable, Wearable Sensors to Enable Long-Duration Circadian Biomedical Studies

David C. Burnett

The last 10 years have seen the emergence of wearable personal health tracking devices as a mainstream industry; however, they remain limited by battery lifetime, specific sensor selection, and a market motivated by a focus on short- term fitness metrics (e.g., steps/day). This hampers the development of a potentially much broader application area based on optimization around biomedical theory for long- term diagnostic discovery. As new biometric sensors come online, the ideal platform enabling the gathering of long-term diagnostic data would have the built-in extensibility to allow...

BPN767: MEMS-Based Tunable Channel-Selecting Super-Regenerative RF Transceivers

Tristan Rocheleau
Thura Lin Naing

This project aims to achieve low-power micromechanical-based tunable RF channel-selecting transceivers.

Project end date: 02/01/16