Electromechanical and Microwave S-parameter Properties of a Wide Tuning Range MEMS Tunable Capacitor

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We present the electromechanical and microwave properties of a novel micromachined parallel-plate tunable capacitor with a wide tuning range. Different from conventional two-parallel-plate tunable capacitors, this novel tunable capacitor consists of one suspended top plate and two fixed bottom plates. One of the two fixed plates and the top plate form a variable capacitor, whereas the other fixed plate and the top plate are used to provide electrostatic actuation for capacitance tuning. For the fabricated prototype tunable capacitors, a maximum tuning range of 69.8% has been achieved experimentally, exceeding the theoretical tuning range limit (50%) of conventional two-parallel-plate tunable capacitors. This novel tunable capacitor also exhibits very low return loss (< 0.6dB between 45 MHz and 10GHz).

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Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: 1, Technical Proceedings of the 2001 International Conference on Modeling and Simulation of Microsystems
Published: March 19, 2001
Pages: 318 - 321
Industry sector: Sensors, MEMS, Electronics
Topicss: Chemical, Physical & Bio-Sensors, MEMS & NEMS Devices, Modeling & Applications
ISBN: 0-9708275-0-4