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Published December 1998 | public
Journal Article Open

Microfabrication of linear translator tuning elements in submillimeter-wave integrated circuits


A micromechanical planar tuning element has been developed and demonstrated in a fully monolithic 620-GHz integrated circuit. It allows for the mechanical variation of the electrical length of a coplanar transmission line tuner and is called a sliding planar backshort (SPB). It consists of a movable patterned rectangular metal plate confined by polyimide flanges along two of its edges to allow guided linear translation along the length of a dielectric-coated coplanar transmission line. Its fabrication involves an application of sacrificial-layer and molding techniques to materials and processes which are compatible with the fabrication of a wide range of submillimeter-wave integrated circuits. This is the first reported micromechanically adjustable tuning element demonstrated at submillimeter wavelengths.

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"©1998 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or to reuse any copyrighted component of this work in other works must be obtained from the IEEE." Manuscript received December 29, 1997; revised August 3, 1998. This work was supported in part by the Innovative Science and Technology Office of the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization, Office of Space Science and Technology, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and a NASA GSRP Fellowship. Subject Editor, N. de Rooij. The authors would like to thank P. A. Stimson for his generous assistance with the submillimeter-wave aspects of this experiment, E. Kolawa and J. S. Reid for assistance with dielectric sputtering, and O. Bori´c-Lubecke for assistance with the manuscript.


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