RF MEMS chip in a 6-metal
250 nm process includes RF inductors undercut by micromachining
to reduce their loss and capacitors that are mechanically
tuned through electrothermal actuation. These MEMS passives
are arranged as tunable LC filters for tunable RF front ends
(bottom left) and as a wide-tuning range voltage controlled
oscillator (top right). On the left side of the chip are
test structures as well as a wideband low-noise amplifier
and an array of micromechanical mixers. The LC filters had
a tuning range of 6% around a nominal 1.2 GHz center frequency.
The oscillator required 10x less power to achieve the same
phase noise when compared to voltage controlled oscillators
in the literature.
This area focuses on the fabrication technologies and design methodologies
for emerging areas that take advantage of the classical deposit-pattern-etch
cycles inherent to integrated circuit manufacturing. A wide range of
technologies are being investigated ranging from nano-technologies such
as molecular transistor based circuits and spin-based devices and circuits
to multi-physics devices and circuits such as those found in MEMS, electro-chemical
applications, biochips and lab-on-chip devices.