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An experimental study of the self-heating of micromachined spiral inductors operated under high-power conditions is presented. Typical suspended spiral coils are shown to develop highly elevated temperatures (up to several hundred degrees) under the flow of a moderate to high (> 60 mA) dc current, which often applies to inductors in radio frequency power circuits. This can lead to the degradation of quality factor and even device failure. The role of various heat dissipation mechanisms relevant for a suspended coil is discussed and analyzed by means of experiments and thermal simulations. Possible solutions to the self-heating issue are discussed and experimentally demonstrated.
Date of Publication: Nov. 2008