Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Electrical Engineering

First Advisor

Guoan Wang


Modern communications systems are following a common trend to increase the operational frequency, level of integration and number of frequency bands. Although 90-95% components in a cell phone are passives which take 80% of the total board area. High performance RF passive components play limited role and are desired towards this technological advancement. Slow wave structure is one of the most promising candidates to design compact RF and mm-Wave passive components. Slow wave structures are the specially designed transmission line realized by placing the alternate narrow and wide signal conductors in order to reduce the physical size of the components. This dissertation reports multiband slow wave structures integrated with ferromagnetic and ferroelectric thin films and their RF applications. A comparative study on different types of coplanar wave-guide (CPW) slow wave structures (SWS) has been demonstrated for the first time. Slow wave structures with various shapes have been investigated and optimized with various signal conductor shapes, ground conductor shapes and pitch of the sections. Novel techniques i.e. the use of the defected ground structure and the different signal conductor length has been implemented to achieve higher slow wave effect with minimum loss. The measured results have shown the reduction of size over 43.47% and 37.54% in the expense of only 0.27dB and 0.102dB insertion loss respectively which can reduce the area of a designed branch line coupler by 68% and 61% accordingly.

Permalloy (Py) is patterned on top of the developed SWS for the first time to further increase the slow wave effect and provide tunable inductance value. High frequency applications of Py are limited by its ferro-magnetic resonance frequency since the inductance value decreases beyond that. Sub-micrometer patterning of Py has increased FMR frequency until 6.3GHz and 3.2GHz by introducing the shape anisotropy. For the SWS with patterned Py, the size of the quarter wavelength has been reduced from 14.86mm to 4.7mm at 2GHz. DC current which is the most convenient and available tuning parameter in a practical circuit board has been used, the developed SWS can function as quarter wave transmission line from 2GHz to 1.80GHz (i.e. 10%). Lead Zirconium Titanate (PZT) is grown and patterned on top of the section with standard sol-gel method to increase capacitance value. The inter digit capacitor type structure along with PZT thin film has been adopted and results showed capacitance value increment by 36%. An electric field between signal and ground has been applied to change the polarization of the thin film which resulted in a tuning of center frequency by 15% (1.75GHz to 2GHz). In addition, a novel approach has been implemented by integrating both the ferromagnetic and the ferroelectric thin films simultaneously to achieve higher slow wave effect, wider tuning range and smaller variation in Characteristics Impedance. The size of the final structure for a quarter wavelengths has been reduced from 14.86mm to 3.98mm while the center frequency has been tuned from 2GHz to 1.5GHz (i.e. 25%). Tunable RF applications of the ferro-magnetic thin films are also demonstrated as a DC current band pass filter, tunable noise suppressor and meander line inductor. A well designed frequency tunable band pass filter (BPF) is implemented at 4GHz with patterned Permalloy. The pass band frequency of a band pass filter has been tuned from 4GHz to 4.02GHz by applying a DC current. The suppression frequency of the developed noise suppressor is tuned from 4.8GHz to 6GHz and 4GHz to 6GHz by changing the aspect ratio of the Py bars and the gap in between them. Moreover, a novel way of tuning the stop band frequency of the noise suppressor by using an external direct current changed the suppression frequency from 6GHz to 4.3GHz. A pass band loss of 1.5%, less than 2⁰ transmitted signal phase distortion, and 3 dB extra return loss of the designed noise suppressor showed the promise the noise suppressors. The increase in the number of turns of a meander line inductor has increased the inductance density from 2565nH/m to 3396nH/m while application of the patterned Py has increased the inductance density from 2565nH/m to 3060nH/m. The tuning of the meander line inductor has been performed by applying DC current until the FMR frequency 4.51GHz.