Wireless, RF & Smart Dust

Research that includes:

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

RTH39: Post-process of GHz-range SiGe Resonators Over Standard RF CMOS Circuitry for Transceiver Applications

Emmanuel Quevy

While MEMS resonators are about to demonstrate their potential for future transceiver architectures, the need for low parasitics low power performances implies shrinkage towards fully integrated systems. The preliminary goal of this project is to provide access to a post-process scheme of SiGe structures that enables integration of GHz resonators with Deep-Submicron CMOS RF ICs available from commercial vendor.

Project end date: 08/31/05

NT24: High-Performance MEMS Capacitors

Dan McCormick
Ming Li

A set of MEMS based variable capacitors will be designed, fabricated, characterized and integrated into QUASAR’s free-space capacitive EEG sensor for ultra-sensitive charge measurement.

Project end date: 08/31/05

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...

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

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....

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...