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High-performance RF coil inductors on silicon

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5 Author(s)
Malba, V. ; Lawrence Livermore Nat. Lab., CA, USA ; Young, D. ; Ou, J.J. ; Bernhardt, A.F.
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Strong demand for wireless communication devices has motivated research directed toward monolithic integration of transceivers. The fundamental electronic component least compatible with silicon integrated circuits is the inductor, although a number of inductors are required to implement oscillators, filters and matching networks in cellular devices. Spiral inductors have been integrated into the silicon IC metallization sequence but have not performed adequately due to coupling to the silicon which results in parasitic capacitance and loss. We have, for the first time, fabricated three-dimensional coil inductors on silicon which have significantly lower capacitive coupling and loss and which now exceed the requirements of potential applications. Quality factors of 30 at 1 GHz have been measured in single turn devices and Q>16 in 2 and 4 turn devices. The reduced Q for multiturn devices appears to be related to eddy currents in outer turns generated by magnetic fields from current in neighboring turns. Higher Q values significantly in excess of 30 are anticipated using modified coil designs

Published in:

Electronic Components & Technology Conference, 1998. 48th IEEE

Date of Conference:

25-28 May 1998