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2015 Short course

RF Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems and Devices

Date/Time: Friday, August 7. 8:30 – 12:00 PM

Abstract: The field of micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) is an interdisciplinary area that includes design, fabrication, and characterization of devices such as sensors and actuators that are (typically) capable of micron-size (1 µm = 10−6 m) mechanical movements to achieve certain functionality. For more than a decade, commercial forms of these devices have been integrated into the technology that we use in our daily life. Examples include the accelerometer that deploys your automobile airbag, the pressure sensor that increases your car fuel efficiency, the micro-mirror array inside your office projector, and the gyroscopes/accelerometers/antenna tuner inside your smart phone. Microfabrication is a key building block of aforementioned microsystems and will be covered in this short course with emphasize on processes that are unique to MEMS. Other aspects such as multi-physics design and simulation will be discussed. Classical examples and case studies for MEMS devices such as RF MEMS switches will be presented. In the second half of this lecture, advanced RF concepts will be introduced. Reconfigurability is a vital feature of future agile microwave and millimeter systems for sensing, imaging, wireless, and satellite communications. Reconfigurable antennas are an integral part of such systems as they can control polarization, frequency, or radiation patter. A few examples, including reconfigurable phased-arrays and the associated research performed at OSU will be covered. Moreover, compared to microwave systems, millimeter-wave (30-300 GHz) and terahertz (>300 GHz) devices operating at much smaller wavelengths, require a new fabrication approach such as MEMS micromachining. These devices will be discussed. During this lecture, we hope the attendees acquire better understanding of a) the field of MEMS, b) fundamental of microfabrication, c) reconfigurable antennas and RF systems, d) and challenges in realization of millimeter-wave and terahertz systems.