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Theoretical and Experimental Studies of Flip-Chip Assembled High- Q Suspended MEMS Inductors

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3 Author(s)
Jun Zeng ; Heriot-Watt Univ., Edinburgh ; Changhai Wang ; Alan J. Sangster

This paper reports the theoretical and experimental studies of high-Q suspended microinductors produced by flip-chip assembly for multigigahertz RF integrated-circuit applications. The effects of device and substrate parameters on the Q factor of the inductor devices are studied by numerical simulation using Ansoft's high frequency structure simulator electromagnetic field simulation package. Suspended inductor devices are realized using a flip-chip assembly method in which the inductor structures with the supporting pillars are fabricated on a low-cost polyimide thin-film carrier and then assembled onto a low resistivity (3-4 Omegaldrcm) silicon substrate by flip-chip bonding. Individual and 2times2 arrays of meander and spiral inductor designs have been successfully fabricated with air gap heights ranging from 15 to 31 mum. Maximum Q factors of ~15 and ~13 at ~1 GHz have been achieved for meander and spiral suspended inductor devices before pad deembedding. It is shown that the optimal air gap between the inductor and substrate surface is ~15 mum beyond which no further enhancement in the Q factor can be obtained for devices on low-resistivity substrates. The experimental results are in excellent agreement with that of theoretical simulation. The inductor assembly method requires minimal chip/wafer processing for integration of high-Q inductors.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques  (Volume:55 ,  Issue: 6 )