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A Simple and Robust Structure for LTCC Green Tape Characterization and Process Control Monitoring
Keywords: LTCC, Characterization, Process control
The trend of todays wireless and mobile communication systems demands high-speed, high-performance and wideband communication devices with low-cost, small, light-weight RF electronic components. It has stimulated a great amount of interest across the industries involved in developing high-functional and high-density circuitry migrating from two-dimensional planar design to three-dimensional, multilayer technology. LTCC (Low Temperature Co-fired Ceramics) technology has favorably demonstrated its ability to integrate both passive components (such as capacitors, inductors and resistors) and active ICs in three dimensions, thus can increase the density of circuit integration, reduce costs, and add performance that can not be achieved in conventional planar circuit architecture. Many of these LTCC module and packaging solutions have been found in emerging military, space, and commercial communication systems, such as unique military applications in radar and missile seekers, and high volume commercial applications in Bluetooth and wireless LAN Front-end-modules. As applications for microwave circuitry expand, high and broadband frequency data on LTCC material properties (dielectric constant, loss tangent and attenuation) are very important for the circuit design, which are however not always available from LTCC tape vendors. In the meanwhile, LTCC module manufacturers want some measures for their process control monitoring. This paper will discuss the use of a simple and robust structure for the purposes aforementioned. This structure employs a microstrip quarter-wavelength T-stub which is easily to build and very well modeled and studied. For pilot process control monitoring, it consumes a smaller area than conventional end-coupled half-wavelength resonator or coupled ring-resonator. Also in this paper, the effects of LTCC property and process related parameters on T-stub resonance will be discussed in detail. Measurement data and comparison results on the LTCC green tape characterization from different LTCC tape vendors will be presented, which may be used by designers for future circuit design considerations.
George Kang, Sr. RF Engineer
Anaren Ceramics, Inc.
Salem, NH

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