Wireless, RF & Smart Dust

Research that includes:

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

KSJP32: Incremental Network Programming

Jaein Jeong

We present an incremental network programming mechanism which reprograms wireless sensors quickly by transmitting the incremental changes for the new program version.

Project end date: 09/08/05

APP62: Piezoelectric Aluminum Nitride Vibrating RF MEMS for Radio Front-End

Gianluca Piazza

The demand of consumer electronics for RF filters and frequency reference elements has focused attention on the reduction of size, power consumption and price and pushed current research interests towards the manufacturing of a single-chip, integrated RF solution. Vibrating contour-mode MEMS resonators constitute the most promising technology for ultimately realizing this vision. This project deals with analytical and experimental results on a new class of contour-mode aluminum nitride piezoelectric resonators. The realization of contour mode shapes in piezoelectric resonators,...

BPN305: Post-processing heat treatment of thin film Aluminum Nitride

David Park

Piezoelectric aluminum nitride (AlN) is a promising material for sensor and wireless communication technology. Some industry applications today include acoustic wave sensors, chemical sensors, and high frequency devices. It is a high thermal conductive material with high acoustic velocity and is not only resistant to humidity and high temperatures but also to wafer processing gases and plasma erosion, making it suitable to use as a thin film. Proper management of stress in the film is necessary to prolong the life of the microstructures and keep the devices fabricated from these...

BPN348: Subterranean Wireless Sensor Network

Ryan Xie
David Doolin
Valerie Zimmer
Michelle Ma

Our long term goal is to prototype and evaluate a reliable, self-healing wireless mesh sensor network for use in mines, caves, and underground storage facilities. Its primary application will be to monitor the physical environment, such as temperature, humidity and barometric pressure, as well as detection of potentially hazardous gases such as carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO2), and methane (CH4). We will evaluate the feasibility of using real-time wireless sensor networks to monitor operating environments and to provide hazard identification and warning. An important aspect...

APP66: Piezoelectric MEMS for Resonator Applications

Andrew S. Cardes
Philip J. Stephanou

The goal of this project is to develop piezoelectric aluminum nitride (AlN) MEMS resonators for frequency reference and bandpass filtering applications to enable novel, highly-integrated radio front ends. The demand for highly-integrated analog filtering and frequency reference elements has spurred rapid innovation in the area of vibrating RF MEMS. To date however, no single technology has emerged that can simultaneously deliver monolithic, post-CMOS integration of intermediate frequency (IF) and radio frequency (RF) components that can readily interface with 50 Ohm RF systems....

APP58: Nano-Gap Piezoelectric Resonators for RF Mechanical Magnetic Field Generation

Carolyn White

An integrated, nano mechanically-regulated atomic clock has been proposed to reduce the size, mass, and power consumption and enable use on portable platforms. This project focuses on the development of nano-gap piezoelectric resonators for RF mechanical magnetic field generation.

Project end date: 01/24/07

RTH29: Lateral-Mode NEMS Resonators Using Internal Electrostatic Transduction

Hei Kam

Electrostatic MEMS resonators show great promise for RF front end applications. Their high motional resistance, however, is one of the major problems for their widespread applications. In this project, we aim to reduce such resistance by using high K dielectric instead of air gaps for transduction. Prototype devices are now being fabricated and will be characterize to see the improvements in performance.

Project end date: 01/24/07

BPN353: Integration of MEMS switches and RF passive components

Tommy Fujii
Dan McCormick

In order to develop advanced multi-functional RF devices for future applications, it is expected that significant advancements must be made to existing technologies or a new technology must be developed. One such enabling technology is the ability to integrate all passive elements and switches monolithically. This technology would represent a new class of RF design and manufacturing capabilities. In order to develop this technology and make it a reality, we are investigating the feasibility of a fabrication process integrating high quality MEMS switches, spiral inductors and MIS...

BPN347: Smart Flea

Subramaniam Venkatraman

Behavior monitoring of animals is of interest to pharmaceutical firms which perform animal testing during the development of drugs. Behavior monitoring using a wireless accelerometer strapped to the animal is explored in this project. Since rats are the animal used in this study, it is essential that the wireless accelerometer meet some stringent weight and size requirements. A prototype wireless accelerometer has been developed which comprises of a 3-axes accelerometer, wireless transceiver, microcontroller, voltage regulator, switch, antenna and battery. It weighs 10.2 grams and is...

KSJP31: 3nJ/bit 2.4GHz CMOS RF Transceiver

Benjamin Cook

The goal of this project is to make dust-sized, wearable, autonomous wireless sensor nodes practically realizable by substantially reducing the power demands of the system's most power hungry section; the RF circuits. To that end, a novel RF transceiver capable of delivering adequate performance for sensor networks while consuming remarkably little power has been developed. Substantial power reduction in the RF circuits will shrink the size of battery required to sustain an autonomous sensor node. The goals for power consumption are dependent on the particular requirements placed on...