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Examination of Surface Roughness Effect on Insertion Loss at Microwave Frequencies using Conventional Surface Roughness Parameters within LTCC Structures
Keywords: LTCC, Surface Roughness, Conductor Loss
The effect of surface roughness on electrical insertion loss at microwave frequencies has been evaluated on LTCC substrates and a correlation between these parameters developed. This involved the selection of suitable measurement instruments and examination of this data including scale-sensitive fractal analysis with use of conventional roughness characterization. Application of laser scanning microscopy (SLM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) on a selection of samples of various roughnesses, pertaining to differences in processes, were examined and compared. Correlations between measured roughness and RF propagation loss will be checked using the conductor loss surface roughness correction formula. The impact of surface roughness effect on overall loss performance will be shown. Additionally a new method of calculating attenuated loss with respect to surface roughness using fractal analysis will be investigated; the theory being that electrical loss at Microwave frequencies is related to the path length along the rough surface at a particular scale for a particular frequency. The measured length of profile on rough surfaces is not unique, but depends on the scale of observation.
Tracey S. Vincent, RF Design Engineer
Barry Industries
Attelboro, MA

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