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A Programmable Lens-Array Antenna With Monolithically Integrated MEMS Switches

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3 Author(s)
Chih-Chieh Cheng ; Sch. of Electr., Comput., & Energy Eng., Arizona State Univ., Tempe, AZ, USA ; Lakshminarayanan, B. ; Abbaspour-Tamijani, Abbas

This paper describes a reconfigurable millimeter-wave lens-array antenna based on monolithically integrated microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) switches. This device is constructed as a planar array of 2-bit programmable MEMS antenna-filter-antenna (AFA) unit cells that are used to provide a 1-D programmable ldquoaperture transfer functionrdquo between the input and output wavefronts. The fully integrated device consists of 484 (22 times 22) AFA elements and 2420 switches. Switches, bias lines, antennas, and the rest of the RF structure are fabricated on two quartz wafers (epsivr = 3.8, tandelta = 0.002) that are subsequently stacked using adhesive bonding to form the tri-layer metal structure of the AFA array. The bonded structure also forms a package for the MEMS switches. This paper investigates the design and fabrication issues and presents the measured data related to yield and frequency response of this lens-array. It also characterizes the performance of this device as a steerable antenna. Measured results show that this lens-array can be used to steer the beam of a low gain horn antenna to plusmn40deg in either the E- or the H-plane. For the fabricated prototype, the yield is estimated to be 50% for the best region of the array, resulting in a relatively high insertion loss and sidelobe level.

Published in:

Microwave Theory and Techniques, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:57 ,  Issue: 8 )