A Tunable Miniaturized RF MEMS Resonator With Simultaneous High Q (500-735) and Fast Response Speed (< 10-60 mu s)

Joshua A. Small, Birck Nanotechnology Center, Purdue University
Muhammad Shoaib Arif, Birck Nanotechnology Center, Purdue University
Adam Fruehling, Birck Nanotechnology Center, Purdue University
Dimitrios Peroulis, Birck Nanotechnology Center, Purdue University

Date of this Version



Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems: Volume: 22 Issue: 2


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This paper reports on the design, fabrication, and measurement of a novel radio frequency (RF) microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) tunable all-silicon evanescent-mode cavity-based resonator that simultaneously achieves high quality factor and fast response speed. The resonator is based on a 1.5-mm-deep silicon-etched cavity attached to a gold-coated silicon substrate with an array of 75 185-mu m-long 20-mu m-wide 1-mu m-thick gold beams. The 54-mm(3) resonator is tunable from 15.2 GHz up to 16.5 GHz (analog tuning range) and up to 17.8-GHz range (digital tuning range) with an array of 75 MEMS fixed-fixed beams. The MEMS beams are biased against their own silicon substrate. This helps keep RF leakage at a minimum and permits high quality factors of 500-735 for the all-silicon configuration. By applying dynamic biasing waveforms, the MEMS tuners respond within 9 mu s (actuation time) and 60 mu s (release including settling time). To the best of the authors' knowledge, the presented resonator is more than 3x smaller, achieves nearly 30% higher average quality factor, and is at least 10-100x faster than state-of-the-art resonators based on similar technology, implemented in similar frequency ranges.


Nanoscience and Nanotechnology