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Large Scale Integration of MEMS Switches in Monolithic Millimeter-Wave Antenna Arrays
Keywords: RF MEMS, SU-8 wafer bonding, phased array
This paper reports fabrication, packaging, and experimental characterization of a millimeter-wave programmable lens-array antenna with a large number of monolithically-integrated MEMS switches. A programmable lens-array topology is presented that consists of 484 two-bit reconfigurable unit elements and 2420 DC contact MEMS switches, constructed using two quartz wafers and three metal layers. The two quartz wafers act as the substrates for the input and output antenna arrays, while also forming a monolithic package for the MEMS switches that are fabricated along with the bias network and parts of the rest of the RF structure on the middle metal layer. We will describe the 10-mask doubled-sided lithographic process and low-temperature adhesive bonding technique used for fabricating this lens-array. The effect of the bonding parameters such as bonding force, temperature, and time on the quality of bonding are addressed. The performances of the two-bit reconfigurable elements is characterized in different modes of operation by localized S-parameter measurements using a focused Gaussian beam system. These measurements and extensive electromagnetic simulations are used as a basis for identifying the possible failure mechanisms and estimate the yield of the fabrication process.
Chih-Chieh Cheng, Student
Arizona State University
Tempe, AZ


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