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Title: Monolithic integration of RF-MEMS switches with reconfigurable phased array antennas
Author: Aguilar Armenta, Christian James
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2013
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This project presents a novel copper DC-contact RF-MEMS cantilever switch to operate with microstrip phased array antennas for the main frequency of operation of 12.5GHz. Effective performance, low cost, compact size, and full integration are the main requirements that phased array antennas and RF-MEMS technologies should meet to make an impact on the market. Then, a cost-effective all-monolithically integrated architecture of phased array antenna with RF-MEMS switches on a commercial printed circuit board (PCB) laminate has been developed as a solution. A new manufacturing technique using photolithography processes has been developed for RF-MEMS cantilever switches based on thin copper films (1um-2um) on a PCB to address the cost and full integration requirements. This technique has allowed fabrication of various switches, of which the mechanical and electromagnetic performance have been measured and found to be suitable for operation with phased arrays. The accomplishment of an all-monolithically integrated architecture has been demonstrated by means of simulations, having been able to electronically steer the main beam to different positions with acceptable radiation characteristics at 12.5GHz. Therefore, in this work it has been possible to demonstrate that good performance and cost-effective phased array antennas are potentially viable by monolithically integrating reliable RF-MEMS on commercial PCBs. Having reliable RF-MEMS built on PCB, there is potential to extend the areas of applications of this type of RF-MEMS, not only for phased array antennas but also for other attractive commercial applications. The research carried out in this project, moreover, represents an important contribution for further development of satisfactory RF-MEMS at very low cost for high frequency systems.
Supervisor: Porter, Stuart ; Zakharov, Yuriy Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available