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RF MEMS

Sandia designs, characterizes and delivers miniaturized, reliable RF MEMS components and systems such as filters, switches, and oscillators that provide differentiating capabilities to Sandia system groups impacting national security and nuclear weapons.

Aluminum Nitride RF MEMS Resonators

Sandia has developed an aluminum nitride (AlN) based microresonator RF MEMS process for realizing high performance, ultra-miniature RF filters and oscillators over a very wide frequency range. Microresonators are miniature acoustic resonators fabricated using integrated circuit (IC) microfabrication techniques. Aluminum nitride (AlN) microresonators are a promising technology for next generation cognitive radios because many low insertion loss filters and oscillators spanning a wide frequency range (32 kHz - 10 GHz) can be fabricated in a small size on a single IC chip. In addition, microresonator filters and oscillators can be monolithically integrated with transistor electronics such as switches and amplifiers circuits for the realization of single chip radios. These properties allow for the realization of miniature programmable center frequency filters and oscillators spanning the HF to X-band range commonly used for communications.

Sandia wafer level packaging technology ensures a very small final form factor and can be implemented in surface mount or chip and wire assemblies. Sandia AlN microresonators have demonstrated high levels of both stability and survivability over environmental conditions such as temperature, shock and vibration.

Because of the high temperature stability, high quality factor and extremely small footprint, Sandia microresonator technology is ideal for narrow band filtering applications where temperature stability, insertion loss and size are critical.

Integration with CMOS electronics such as switches makes Sandia AlN microresonator technology an ideal choice for applications requiring reconfigurable center frequency, reconfigurable bandwidth, or very wide spectral coverage. 

To learn more about Sandia Aluminum Nitride Microresonators please click on the links below or read one of our many publications.

Figure 1.  16-Channel AlN Filter Array.

Figure 1.  16-Channel AlN Filter Array.


Figure 2.  S-Band Switched Filter Array Monolithically Integrated with CMOS.

Figure 2.  S-Band Switched Filter Array Monolithically Integrated with CMOS.

Figure 3.  Wafer Level Packaged Microresonator Filter Surface Mounted to a Printed Circuit Board.

Figure 3.  Wafer Level Packaged Microresonator Filter Surface Mounted to a Printed Circuit Board.

 

Relevent Publications

  1. B. Kim, R. H. Olsson III and K. E. Wojciechowski, “AlN Microresonator-Based Filters with Multiple Bandwidths at Low Intermediate Frequencies,” IEEE Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems, In-Press, 2013.
  2. B. Kim, J. Nguyen, K. E. Wojciechowski and R. H. Olsson III, “Oven-Based Thermally Tunable Aluminum Nitride Microresonators,” IEEE Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems, In-Press, 2013.
  3. G. Piazza, V. Felmetsger, P. Muralt, R. H. Olsson III and R. Ruby, “Piezoelectric Aluminum Nitride Films for Microelectromechanical Systems,” MRS Bulletin, Vol. 37, pp.1051 – 1061, Nov. 2012.  (Invited Review)
  4. C. D. Nordquist, R. H. Olsson III, S. M. Scott, D. W. Branch, T. Pluym, and V. Yarberry, “On/Off Micro-Electromechanical Switching of AlN Piezoelectric Resonators,” IEEE International Microwave Symposium, June 2013, In-Press.
  5. R. H. Olsson III, E. Crespin, C. D. Nordquist, P. Clews and K. E. Wojciechowski, “Aluminum Nitride Micromechanical Resonators Monolithically Integrated with CMOS Electronics,” PiezoMEMS Workshop, April 2013, In-Press. (Invited)
  6. R. H. Olsson III, J. Nguyen and T. Pluym, “A Programmable Bandwidth Aluminum Nitride Microresonator Filter,” Govt. Microcircuit App. and Critical Tech. Conf., March 2013, In-Press.
  7. R. H. Olsson III, B. Kim, J. Nguyen, P. Clews, T. Pluym and K. E. Wojciechowski, “Tuning the Bandwidth and Center Frequency of Micromechanical Acoustic Resonators,” National Radio Science Meeting, Jan. 2013. (Invited)
  8. E. R. Crespin, R. H. Olsson III, K. E. Wojciechowski, D. W. Branch, P. Clews, R. Hurley and J. Gutierrez, “Fully Integrated Switchable Filter Banks,” IEEE International Microwave Symposium, pp. 1-3, June 2012.
  9. M. D. Henry, K. D. Greth, J. Nguyen, C. D. Nordquist, R. Shul, M. Wiwi, T. A. Plut and R. H. Olsson III, “Hermetic Wafer-Level Packaging for RF MEMs: Effects on Resonator Performance,” IEEE Electronic Components and Technology Conf., pp. 362-369, May 2012.
  10. M. Ziaei-Moayyed, P. Clews, J. Nguyen and R. H. Olsson III, “C-Band Aluminum Nitride Resonator and Filter Arrays,” Govt. Microcircuit App. and Critical Tech. Conf., pp. 237-240, March 2012.
  11. M. S. Baker, R. H. Olsson III and J. R. Schwank, “Radiation Testing of Aluminum Nitride Microresonators,” Govt. Microcircuit App. and Critical Tech. Conf., pp. 389-392, March 2012.
  12. B. Kim, R. H. Olsson III, K. Smart and K. E. Wojciechowski, “MEMS Resonators with Extremely Low Vibration and Shock Sensitivity,” IEEE Sensors Conf., pp. 606-609, Oct. 2011.  (Invited)
  13. C. D. Nordquist and R. H. Olsson III, “Power Handling and Intermodulation Distortion of Contour-Mode AlN MEMS Resonators and Filters,” IEEE International Microwave Symposium, 978-1-61284-757-3/11 June 2011.
  14. B. Kim, R. H. Olsson and K. E. Wojciechowski, "Capacitive Frequency Tuning of AlN Micromechanical Resonators," 2011 16th International Solid-State Sensors, Actuators and Microsystems Conference (TRANSDUCERS), pp.502-505, June 2011.
  15. R. Chanchani, C. D. Nordquist, R. H. Olsson III, T. Peterson, R. Shul, C. Ahlers, T. A. Plut and G. Patrizi, “A New Wafer-Level Packaging Technology for MEMS with Hermetic Micro-Environment,” IEEE Electronic Components and Technology Conference,” pp. 1604-1609, 2011.
  16. R. H. Olsson III, D. W. Branch and K. E. Wojciechowski, “Origins and Mitigation of Spurious Modes in Aluminum Nitride Microresonators,” IEEE Ultrasonics Symposium, pp. 1272-1276, Oct. 2010.
  17. B. Kim, R. H. Olsson III and K. E. Wojciechowski, “Ovenized and Thermally Tunable Aluminum Nitride Microresonators,” IEEE Ultrasonics Symposium, pp. 974-978, Oct. 2010.
  18. R. H. Olsson III, K. E. Wojciechowski, M. Ziaei-Moayyed, B. Kim, J. E. Stevens, M. R. Tuck and C. D. Nordquist, “Aluminum Nitride Microresonator Filters and Oscillators for Defense and Consumer Radio Frequency Electronics,” Commercialization of Micro-Nano Systems Conf., Albuquerque, NM, Aug. 2010. (Invited)
  19. K. E. Wojciechowski and R .H. Olsson III, “Parallel Lattice Filters Utilizing Aluminum Nitride Contour Mode Resonators,” Solid-State Sensor, Actuator, and Microsystems Workshop, pp. 65-69, June 2010.
  20. R. H. Olsson III, K. E. Wojciechowski, J. E. Stevens, M. R. Tuck and C. D. Nordquist, “Aluminum Nitride Micro-Devices for RF Communications and Sensing,” U.S. Navy Workshop on Acoustic Transduction Materials and Devices, State College, PA, May 2010. (Invited)
  21. K. E Wojciechowski, R. H. Olsson III, C. D. Nordquist, M. R. Tuck, and J. E. Stevens, “Next Frontier for MEMS-IC Integration: Aluminum Nitride (AlN) Frequency References, Filters and Sensors… Drivers and Challenges,” 8th Annual MEPTEC MEMS Symposium, San Jose, CA, May 2010. (Invited)
  22. R. H. Olsson III, K. E. Wojciechowski, M. R. Tuck, J. E. Stevens and C. D. Nordquist, “Multi-Frequency Aluminum Nitride Micro-Filters for Advanced RF Communications,” Govt. Microcircuit App. and Critical Tech. Conf., pp. 257-260, March 2010.
  23. D. M. Tanner, R. H. Olsson III, T. B. Parson, S. M. Crouch, J. A. Walraven and J. A. Ohlhausen, “Stability Experiments on MEMS Aluminum Nitride RF Resonators,” Proc. Of SPIE, vol. 7592, pp. 1-8, Feb. 2010.
  24. R. H. Olsson III and K. E. Wojciechowski, “Microresonant Impedance Transformers,” IEEE Ultrasonics Symposium, pp. 2153-2157, Sept. 2009.
  25. K. E. Wojciechowski, R. H. Olsson III and M. R. Tuck, “Super High Frequency Width Extensional Aluminum Nitride MEMS Resonators, IEEE Ultrasonics Symposium, pp. 1179-1182, Sept. 2009.
  26. K. E. Wojciechowski, R. H. Olsson, T. A. Hill, M. R. Tuck and E. Roherty-Osmun, “Single-Chip Precision Oscillators Based on Multi-Frequency, High-Q Aluminum Nitride MEMS Resonators,” IEEE International Solid-State Sensors, Actuators and Microsystems Conference, pp. 2126-2130, June, 2009.
  27. R. H. Olsson III and M. R. Tuck, “Fundamental and Overtone Aluminum Nitride Dual Mode Resonator Filters,” Solid-State Sensor, Actuator, and Microsystems Workshop, pp. 356-359, June 2008.
  28. K. E. Wojciechowski, R. H. Olsson III and M. R. Tuck, “Post-CMOS Compatible Aluminum Nitride Ring Wave Guide (RWG) Resonators,” Solid-State Sensor, Actuator, and Microsystems Workshop, pp. 372-375, June 2008.
  29. R. H. Olsson III, C. M. Washburn, J. E. Stevens, M. R. Tuck and C. D. Nordquist, “VHF and UHF Mechanically Coupled Aluminum Nitride MEMS Filters,” IEEE Frequency Control Symposium, pp. 634-639, June 2008.
  30. R. H. Olsson III, J. G. Fleming, K. E. Wojciechowski, M. S. Baker and M. R. Tuck, “Post-CMOS Compatible Aluminum Nitride MEMS Filters and Resonant Sensors,” IEEE Frequency Control Symposium, pp. 412-419, June 2007. (Invited)
  31. K. E. Wojciechowski, R. H. Olsson III, M. S. Baker, J. W. Wittwer, K. Smart, J. G. Fleming and K. R. Pohl, “Low Vibration Sensitivity MEMS Resonators,” IEEE Frequency Control Symposium, pp. 1220-1224, June 2007.
  32. K. J. Smart, R. H. Olsson III, D. Ho, D. R. Heine, and J. G. Fleming, “Frequency Agile Radios Using MEMS Resonators,” Govt. Microcircuit App. and Critical Tech. Conf., pp. 409-412, March 2007.

 

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