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This paper presents a new implementation of integrated tunable inductors using mutual inductances activated by micromechanical switches. To achieve a large tuning range and a high quality factor, silver was used as the structural material, and silicon was selectively removed from the backside of the substrate. Using this method, a maximum tuning of 47% at 6 GHz is achieved for a 1.1 nH silver inductor fabricated on a low-loss polymer membrane. The effect of the quality factor on the tuning characteristic of the inductor is investigated by comparing the measured result of identical inductors fabricated on various substrates. To maintain the quality factor of the silver inductor, the device was encapsulated using a low-cost wafer-level polymer packaging technique.
Date of Publication: Feb. 2008