RF-MEMS Characterization

The characterization of RF-MEMS requires in addition to the conventional measuring technique, some special measuring arrangement for the provision and detection of RF signals as well as experience in the microwave range. 

For precise measurement of components with a high Q-factor, such as MEMS varactor diodes, Noise (Parasitics) must be excluded. This can be realized through feeding the signal directly to the device under test via coaxial RF probes with matching pitch (150-1250 microns) as well as comparative measurements (calibrations) according to known standards. 

Non-standard configurations are calibrated using the so-called "imperfectly known on-wafer standards“, which is typically manufactured in connection with the device itself. The operation of RF-MEMS requires a controlled application of DC-bias voltages. Therefore a software-controlled 4-channel high-voltage DC source is used. All measurements can be carried out on the wafer, chip or circuit level. Using multiple measurement devices and probe stations allows a combined analysis of RF performance and mechanical characteristics (structural deformation and dynamic response) by means of laser vibrometry or white light interferometry.

Equipment#

  • Manual RF probe station (8 inch)
  • Vector Network Analyzer (9 kHz to 110 GHz)
  • RF probes (GS/SG, GSG 75 µm to 1250 µm pitch)
  • Calibration standards