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Performance Improvement of RF Inductors Using LTCC Technology
Keywords: RF inductors, LTCC technology, Performance improvement
Presented research is conducted with regard to improve performance of RF inductor structures, but at the same time to maintain or reduce required chip area. For the first time, implementation of several LTCC substrate configurations onto simple RF inductor geometry in a comparative manner is demonstrated. Also, chosen substrate material is never before implemented for inductor fabrication. Designed structures are characterized on the basis of simulation and experimental data, achieving good correlation between obtained results. Considered initial structure is a one port meander type planar inductor with 1.5 turn fabricated on the top of dielectric substrate, Heraeus CT800 dielectric tape. Optimization of inductor structures require implementation of an air cavity directly underneath conductive segments, embedment of the whole structure inside the stack forming a buried inductor, as well as combination of both aforementioned procedures. Simulation model for all four considered substrate configurations have been formed and inductor characteristics (inductance and quality factor - Q-factor) have been extracted from simulations. Characterization of fabricated structures was performed using high frequency measurement set-up (Vector Network Analyzer). Obtained quality factor (Q-factor) for the initial structure with an inductance of 10.52 nH at the Q-factor maximum frequency (0.72 GHz) is 68.34. Obtained results show that introduction of the air-gap significantly increases inductors' Q-factor maximum to 92.06 at frequency of 1.19 GHz (over 30 %) and its resonant frequency from 1.53 GHz to 2.40 GHz (approximately 60 %). Embedding the structure does not affect their performance significantly. Inductance values at frequencies of the Q-factor maximum for all four substrate configurations change for the less than 4 % (from 10.40 nH to 10.77 nH). Comparing presented results with already published it can be concluded that proposed inductors have greater values of Q-factor for the same values of inductance than with similar dimensions and same frequency range.
Goran Radosavljevic , Researcher
Vienna University of Technology
A-1040 WIEN ,

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