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Impact of Process Tolerances on the Performance of Bond Wire Antennas at RF/Microwave Frequencies
Keywords: Bond wire antenna, process tolerances, RF/microwave
As consumer demands continuously push for highly miniaturized RF/wireless communications products, there is a steady trend to integrate system components in very close proximity to each other. This has resulted, for example, in the integration of antennas directly on transceiver chips using semi-conducting substrates like silicon. However, due to the lossy nature of low resistivity silicon and its high dielectric constant, the efficiency as well as the overall performance of on-chip antennas is very limited. To overcome this problem, bond wire antennas were recently proposed and extensively studied. But, in all of the published work, the impact of process tolerances that occur during the fabrication of bond wire antennas has not been investigated. In this work, we modeled, simulated and characterized bond wire antennas for 60 GHz applications, considering the impact of process tolerances on their radiation characteristics. Our results show that the most sensitive parameters which significantly impact the performance of bond wire antennas are the loop height, bond length and reference plane beneath the antenna. For example, a 20% fluctuation in the loop height causes approximately 6 GHz shift in the resonance frequency. This may detune the antenna characteristics, if it was not originally designed to cover a broad bandwidth. For experimental validation, test samples were designed, fabricated and measured. A very good correlation was obtained between measurement and simulation results. Finally, design guidelines which consider the impact of process tolerances on bond wire antennas for RF/microwave applications were derived and implemented.
Dr. Ivan Ndip, Group Manager
Fraunhofer IZM
Berlin 13355,
Germany


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