High tuning range AlSi RF MEMS capacitors fabricated with sacrificial amorphous silicon surface micromachining
This paper reports the fabrication and electrical characterization of high tuning range AlSi RF MEMS capacitors. We present experimental results obtained by a surface micromachining process that uses dry etching of sacrificial amorphous silicon to release Al–1%Si membranes and has a low thermal budget (<450 °C) being compatible with CMOS post-processing. The proposed silicon sacrificial layer dry etching (SSLDE) process is able to provide very high Si etch rates (3–15 μm/min, depending on process parameters) with high Si: SiO2 selectivity (>10,000:1). Single- and double- air-gap MEMS capacitors, as well as some dedicated test structures needed to calibrate the electro-mechanical parameters and explore the reliability of the proposed technology, have been fabricated with the new process. S- parameter measurements from 100 MHz up to 2 GHz have shown a capacitance tuning range higher than 100% with the double-air-gap architecture. The tuning range can be enlarged with a proper DC electrical bias of the capacitor electrodes. Finally, the reported results make the proposed MEMS tuneable capacitor a good candidate for above-IC integration in communications applications.
Record created on 2005-10-18, modified on 2016-08-08