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A robust high-Q micromachined RF inductor for RFIC applications

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3 Author(s)
Jr-Wei Lin ; Dept. of Electron. Eng., Nat. Chiao-Tung Univ., Hsinchu, Taiwan ; C. C. Chen ; Yu-Ting Cheng

In this paper, a robust micromachined spiral inductor with a cross-shaped sandwich membrane support is proposed and fabricated with fully CMOS compatible post-processes for radio frequency integrated circuit (RFIC) applications. Using the incorporation of a sandwich dielectric membrane (0.7 μm SiO2/0.7 μm Si3N4/0.7 μm TEOS) to enhance the structure rigidity, the inductor can have better signal stability. In comparison, the new design of a ∼5-nH micromachined inductor can have 45% less inductance variation than the one without the dielectric support while both devices are operated with 10 m/s2 acceleration. Meanwhile, using a cross shape instead of blanket membrane can also effectively eliminate the inductance variation induced by the working temperature change (20°C to 75°C). The measurement results show the robust inductor can have similar electrical performance to the as-fabricated freely suspended inductor, which has five times Q (quality factor) improvement than the inductor without the substrate removal. It is our belief that the new micromachined inductors can have not only high-Q performance but also better signal stability suitable for wide-range RFIC applications.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Electron Devices  (Volume:52 ,  Issue: 7 )