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Micromachined stacked patch antenna devices with high efficiency and wideband characteristics are reported. Polymer based fabrication and assembly processes have been developed in order to produce the stacked suspended antenna devices. Millimeter thick micromachined SU8 based polymer rings are used to create air gaps between the patches and the microwave substrate for optimized high efficiency operation. Thin film liquid crystal polymer (LCP) and polyimide substrates are used to support the radiating and parasitic patch elements. The polymer rings also form cavities to protect the patches and substrate from moisture and dust. The antenna structures are fabricated in layers and then assembled to obtain 3D devices. The antenna devices have been designed using an electromagnetic simulation package. The aperture coupled devices are impedance matched for wideband operation. RF measurements show wideband operation of the devices and the results are in good agreement with that of simulation. Typical gain and bandwidths are 7.8 dBi and 39% for a microstrip fed antenna device while they are 7.6 dBi and 44% for a CPW fed device. The predicted efficiency from the results of simulation is above 97% for the antenna devices.
Date of Publication: Nov. 2010