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A Tunable Miniaturized RF MEMS Resonator With Simultaneous High Q (500–735) and Fast Response Speed (< \hbox {10}-\hbox {60} \mu\hbox {s})

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4 Author(s)
Small, J. ; Sch. of Electr. & Comput. Eng. & the Birck Nanotechnol. Center, Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN, USA ; Arif, M.S. ; Fruehling, A. ; Peroulis, D.

This paper reports on the design, fabrication, and measurement of a novel radio frequency (RF) microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) tunable all-silicon evanescent-mode cavity-based resonator that simultaneously achieves high quality factor and fast response speed. The resonator is based on a 1.5-mm-deep silicon-etched cavity attached to a gold-coated silicon substrate with an array of 75 185-μm-long 20-μm-wide 1- μm-thick gold beams. The 54- mm3 resonator is tunable from 15.2 GHz up to 16.5 GHz (analog tuning range) and up to 17.8-GHz range (digital tuning range) with an array of 75 MEMS fixed-fixed beams. The MEMS beams are biased against their own silicon substrate. This helps keep RF leakage at a minimum and permits high quality factors of 500-735 for the all-silicon configuration. By applying dynamic biasing waveforms, the MEMS tuners respond within 9 μs (actuation time) and 60 μs (release including settling time). To the best of the authors' knowledge, the presented resonator is more than 3 × smaller, achieves nearly 30% higher average quality factor, and is at least 10-100 × faster than state-of-the-art resonators based on similar technology, implemented in similar frequency ranges.

Published in:

Microelectromechanical Systems, Journal of  (Volume:22 ,  Issue: 2 )