Fully Integrated High-Performance MEMS Lumped Element Filters For Reconfigurable Radios
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Future radios should support an increasing number of wireless frequencies and standards. Using existing technologies, a number of antennas, switches, phase arrays, and front-end filters are needed to select the various standards, increasing the overall size and cost of the radio. This is where RF MEMS can play a unique role; tunable RF passives fabricated using micro-technologies can decrease the number of necessary front-end components, reducing the overall handset size, cost, and energy consumption.
In this work, two technologies are considered for tunable filter implementation, which can address the challenging performance requirements of modern RF front-end systems, namely multi-band processing capability, low energy consumption, and small size. The first technology is a tunable RF MEMS platform based on surface micromachining, enabling fabrication of continuously tuned capacitors, capacitive and ohmic switches, as well as high quality factor inductors, all on a single chip. The second technology is based on a new tuning mechanism utilizing phase-change or resistance change materials. Phase change switches can be monolithically integrated with other MEMS components to implement tunable RF filters and reconfigurable front-end modules; potentially offering high tuning speed, low loss, and small size.