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High Frequency Measurement Techniques for On-Chip Inductors
Keywords: Inductor, Quality Factor, Wireless
There is a high demand for small footprint, high performance, low power and low cost wireless products in today's mobile communication market. In order to meet these demands, many off-chip passive devices are being moved to on-chip as integrated passives. Inductors are very important passive elements in many circuit applications such as frequency synthesizers, narrow-band impedance matching, low noise degeneration and feedback, linear filters and baluns. There are many papers written in design and fabrication of integrated inductors for wireless applications. However, the inductors fabricated on a lossy silicon substrate provide low Q that makes the performance of high bandwidth wireless systems decrease in performance. This paper presents measurement techniques of on-chip inductors in Giga Hertz range for wireless communication products. We compared several different on-chip inductors for self-resonance frequency and quality factors. The measurement data could be used for the guideline of designing practical spiral inductors for wireless applications. We present characterization and testing of integral passives that are fabricated on a very high-resistivity silicon substrate. We provide modeling of the spiral inductor and compare the results with the extracted values to optimize the model. We measured several kinds of inductors, which have one or two ports, with or without ground shields. The measurement shows that one-port inductors with ground shields have a higher quality factor than those without ground shields. The self-resonance frequency decreases quickly as the number of turns of the inductor increase. We made a setup of optimizing procedure for the equivalent circuit parameters of spiral inductors from the measured scattering parameters.
Bruce C. Kim, Associate Professor
University of Alabama
Tuscaloosa, AL

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