You are on page 1of 43

RF Signal Processing using

MEMS: Challenges and


Prospects
Roger T. Howe
Depts. of EECS and ME
Berkeley Sensor & Actuator Center
University of California at Berkeley
BWRC

October 12, 2001

Outline
What is the killer app for
MEMS/NEMS mechanical filters?
Challenges in fabricating and
integrating RF micro/nano resonators
BSAC/BWRC Integrated Microwatt
Transceiver project 2001-2005
BWRC

October 12, 2001

Motivation for RF
MEMS

From S. Chou, MEMS R&D at Intel, April 25, 2001


BWRC

October 12, 2001

RF Transceiver Block
Diagram

Eliminating off-chip filters: Intel, Discera (Michigan spin-off)


BWRC

October 12, 2001

FBARs
Agilent (followed by Lucent, TDK, and Samsung)
are nearing production of these 1-5 GHz resonators

Metal Contact

AlN

Metal Contact
Figure: Thin-Film Bulk Acosutic Resonat or (FBAR)

Use FBARs for


trying out new
radio architectures (BWRC)
Advanced RF
packaging is
mandatory

R. Ruby, et al, (Agilent Technologies), ISSCC 2001.


BWRC

October 12, 2001

What about MEMS


Resonators?

Features: high Q resonance with


low power, but with impedance
matching, interconnect, and
power handling issues
Not a drop-in replacement of a
ceramic or SAW filter in cell phones!
BWRC

October 12, 2001

Outline
What is the killer app for
MEMS/NEMS mechanical filters?
Challenges in fabricating and
integrating RF micro/nano resonators
BSAC/BWRC Integrated Microwatt
Transceiver project 2001-2005
BWRC

October 12, 2001

Progress in MEMS
Resonators
Structures approaching fo = 1 GHz
Harold Craighead (Cornell): Si at 350 MHz
Clark Nguyen (Michigan): poly-Si at >150 MHz
Michael Roukes (Caltech): SiC at 635 MHz

Q, noise, transduction, and dynamic


range issues:
John Vig (ARL), Michael Roukes,
Tom Kenny (Stanford)

BWRC

October 12, 2001

Resonator Design
Choices

High stiffness or low stiffness?


Bulk modes are stiff
Bending or tornsional modes are soft

Transduction (drive and sense)


Electrostatic
Piezoelectric (FBARs)

Materials and processes


BWRC

October 12, 2001

First-Run Bulk Longitudinal


Resonator
Stiff mode:

High frequency
with micro
rather than nano
Poisson effect:
useful coupling
on sides
Deep sub-m gaps

B. Bircumshaw, O. OReilly,
and A. P. Pisano, BSAC
BWRC

October 12, 2001

Compare another
stiff mode by
Michigan at IEDM-00

Bulk Longitudinal
Resonator
Resonating mass
Drive electrode
Capacitor gap
Suspension tether
Anchor

1 m

B. Bircumshaw, A. P. Pisano, O. OReilly


BWRC

October 12, 2001

Nano Tuning Fork


SOI
DRIVE
ELECTRODE

SOI
SENSE
ELECTRODE

RESONATOR

RF resonator:
Double-ended tuning fork design
tine width=35nm; length=0.5m;
spacing=55nm;
thickness=50nm;
gap to electrode=80nm
Single-mask process

SiO2 (400nm) sacrificial material

S. Bhave, L. Chang, T.-J. King, and R. T. Howe

BWRC

October 12, 2001

Circuit Model for MEMS


Resonator

Electrostatic drive, capacitive sense


Leq

Req
+

vd

Co

Ceq

is
+

Co

sense

structure node

Leq

M eff
2VP

BWRC

Ceq

C
2VP 2

K eff

October 12, 2001

Req

n M eff
2QVP

Motional Resistance
Scaling

Symmetrical || plate drive and


sense:
kg 4
Req

o 2 A21QV p 2

Shrinking the electrode gap g (4th power) or


Raising the DC bias VP (2nd power)

BWRC

October 12, 2001

Demanding Requirements for Resonators


small structural dimensions (ms)
even smaller gaps (< 100 nm)
low material damping, low anchor losses
very tight control on structural dimensions
and materials

BWRC

October 12, 2001

Implications of Req
Scaling

Lowering Req deep submicron gaps


(sidewall structures for lateral
excitation, J. Clark, et al, IEDM 2000)
DC electric fields (VP/g) push to
field emission limit
Bottom line: Req in the 10 k range
appears feasible at 1 GHz
BWRC

October 12, 2001

Further Application
Issues

Dynamic range

High end: nonlinearity in drive and sense


Low end: noise
(see J. Vig., IEEE Trans. UFFC, Nov. 1999)

Frequency reproducibility
Fabrication variations
Temperature variations

BWRC

October 12, 2001

Extrinsic Circuit Elements


Interconnect to and from IC adds
resistances Rint and capacitances Cint
Feedthrough capacitance Cf
Cf

drive vd
-

BWRC

Req

Rint

Leq

Ceq

Rint

is
+

Cint

Co

Co

Cint

sense
-

structure node

October 12, 2001

Applications?
Not a drop-in replacement of a
ceramic or SAW filter!
Features: high Q resonance with
ultra-low power, but with
impedance
matching and
interconnect issues
Candidate application:
LO-less sensor node transceivers
BWRC

October 12, 2001

Outline
What is the killer app for
MEMS/NEMS mechanical filters?
Challenges in fabricating and
integrating RF micro/nano resonators
BSAC/BWRC Integrated Microwatt
Transceiver project 2001-2005
BWRC

October 12, 2001

Goals
Reduce power by 100 x over stateof-the art sensor node transceivers
using CMOS + off-chip components
Can autonomy be achieved?
Less than 100 W average power: use
ambient energy scavenging
Applications: CITRIS project

BWRC

October 12, 2001

Analog OFDM
Subsamping Transceiver
using RF NM Filters
NM Filter

RF Filter
(Low Q)

LNA

fclock

NM Filter
NM Filter

Prefilter: micromachined LC passive

A
D

Rejects non-linear LNA components


Shapes LNA thermal noise
Selects System Frequency Bands

B. Otis and Prof. J. M. Rabaey,


EECS Dept. and BWRC
BWRC

October 12, 2001

NM Filter Specs
Motional resistance: 25 k
10 resonators per channel 2.5 k

Linearity, dynamic range


challenging for electrostatic
transduction
NM resonator technologies
BWRC

October 12, 2001

Transmitter Architecture
NM Filter
Wideband
Pulse
Generator

NM Filter

PA

NM Filter

- Switches select
transmission tones

- Shapes wideband pulse into tones


amplified & transmitted by PA

B. Otis and Prof. J. M. Rabaey,


EECS Dept. and BWRC
BWRC

October 12, 2001

Options for Integration


Integrate after deep submicron CMOS
Parasitic elements degrade performance if
MEMS resonators are on a separate chip
or even fabricated adjacent to CMOS

Parallel assembly processes to


integrate MEMS/NEMS resonators into
microsystem
BWRC

October 12, 2001

Polysilicon MEMS-CMOS
Integration
1.02 MHz tuning fork with Pierce amplifier
3000 -thick polysilicon interconnects
(RC low-pass filters)

200
m

T. A. Roessig, et al, Hilton Head 1998. (BSAC design in Sandia IMEMS)


BWRC

October 12, 2001

Polycrystalline Silicon
Germanium I I I I V

Semiconductor alloy

Compatible with CMOS

B
Al
G a

Conventional LPCVD furnace


SiH4 or Si2H6, GeH4, B2H6

Leverage IC industry research


Heterojunction BJTs (in production)
CMOS gates

BWRC

October 12, 2001

C
Si
G e

V
N
P
As

Poly-SiGe MEMS after


CMOS
UC Berkeley baseline CMOS with Al-2% Si
Post-CMOS temperature < 450C
90oC H2O2 release: maskless!

BWRC

October 12, 2001

Stacked Resonator on
Amplifier

25 m
Andrea Franke, et al, HH 2000.
BWRC

October 12, 2001

Schematic Cross-Section
Microshell Encapsulation
(anchors not shown)
Poly-SiGe RF
MEMS technology
Shielded Interconnect
to Drive Electrode

Drive Electrode

BLR

Shielded
Vertical Signal
Path to Gate of
Input Transistor

DC Bias to
Resonator
5-level metal
foundry CMOS

BWRC

Sense Electrode

October 12, 2001

Poly-SiC Liftoff
Process
DSB CVD

poly-SiC
SiO2
Si
HF Treatment

Exploits poor
nucleation on SiO2

Si
XeF2 Etch
released SiC structures
Si
BWRC

October 12, 2001

Poly-SiC Test
Structures
10m

patterned Si substrate

BWRC

October 12, 2001

Parallel Microassembly
Processes

K. Bhringer, et al, ICRA, Leuven, Belgium, May 1998


BWRC

October 12, 2001

NM Resonator
Metrology

Imaging a NM resonator is a critical


capability (for all NMASP projects)
laser

modulator
lens

STM tip

Scanning Acoustic
Tunneling Microscope
Prof. Jeff Bokor

BWRC

October 12, 2001

Taxonomy of
Microassembly
Parallel microassembly
Multiple parts assembled simultaneously
Deterministic: pre-determined destination
for parts
Stochastic: random process determines
part destinations

Serial microassembly
Pick and place on a microscale

BWRC

October 12, 2001

Stochastic
Microassembly

Pattern complementary
hydrophobic shapes onto
parts and substrates
using SAMs.
no shape constraints on parts
no bulk micromachining of
substrate
submicron, orientational
alignment

U. Srinivasan, Ph.D. ChemEng, May 2001


BWRC

October 12, 2001

Mirrors onto
Microactuators
Self-assemble
mirrors onto
microactuator
arrays
Si (100)
mirrors
Nickel-polySi
bimorph
actuators
BWRC

October 12, 2001

Mirrors on
Microactuators

assembled mirror
BWRC

October 12, 2001

Commercial Stochastic SelfAssembly


Alien Technology
(Prof. J. Stephen Smith,
UC Berkeley EECS
Dept.)

Gravitational energy
well
11,000 elements/min
99.99% yield
1 m alignment
BWRC

October 12, 2001

Alien Technology

Transceiver Integration
Micropart orientation by complementary binding sites
RF passive
NEMS filter bank
Dense vertical
feedthroughs

CMOS transceiver

BWRC

October 12, 2001

J. S. Smith and
R. T. Howe

Conclusions
Micro/nano resonators:
Ultra-low power is one application space

Fabrication technology
challenges:
Many, but no show-stoppers

FBARs are coming (or here )


stepping stone for system designers
BWRC

October 12, 2001

Project Personnel
Faculty Investigators:
Roger Howe and Jan Rabaey, co-PIs
Jeff Bokor (metrology)
Tsu-Jae King (poly-SiGe)
Roya Maboudian (poly-SiC)
Al Pisano (NM resonator design)
Steve Smith (integration by assembly)

BWRC

October 12, 2001

Acknowledgements
DARPA MEMS Program:
Modular SiGe-RF MEMS Project

Profs. T.-J. King, A. P. Pisano,


R. Maboudian, J. M. Rabaey, O. OReilly
and J. S. Smith, UC Berkeley
Graduate students: Brian Bircumshaw
(ME)
Brian Otis (EECS) and Sunil Bhave
(EECS)
BWRC

October 12, 2001