RF Solid-State Vibrating Transistors

By Dana Weinstein

Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA

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Semiconductor micro-electromechanical (MEM) resonators, with quality factors (Q) often exceeding 104 can provide a high performance, low-power, compact CMOS-compatible alternative to electrical components in wireless communication and signal processing. Most electromechanical devices require a release step to freely suspend moving structures, which necessitates costly complex encapsulation methods and back end-of-line processing of large-scale devices. Development of *unreleased* Si-based MEMS resonators in CMOS allows seamless integration into Front End of Line processing with no post-processing or packaging.

In this talk, I will discuss the Resonant Body Transistor (RBT), which can be integrated into a standard CMOS process. The first hybrid RF MEMS-CMOS resonators in Si at the transistor level of IBM’s SOI CMOS process, without any post-processing or packaging will be described. Unreleased, Si bulk acoustic resonators are driven capacitively using the thin gate dielectric, and actively sensed using a body-contacted nFET incorporated into the resonant cavity. FET sensing with the high fT, high performance transistors in CMOS amplifies the mechanical signal before the presence of parasitics. The resulting RF-MEMS resonators provide low power, low cost, small footprint building blocks for on-chip signal generation and processing. For low loss and high power application, this concept can be extended to III-V semiconductors commonly used for mm-wave ICs (MMICs). I will discuss our latest results on active MEMS-HEMT resonators in GaN and their implications for channel-select radio design.



image Dana Weinstein is an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT, and a member of the Microsystems Technology Laboratories. Dana received her B.A. in Physics and Astrophysics from UC Berkeley in 2004, then moved to Cornell University where she completed her Ph.D. in Applied Physics in 2009, working on multi-GHz Micro Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS). Her research group at MIT, the HybridMEMS Lab, focuses on the development of novel MEMS-enhanced electron devices and systems for high performance, low power consumption, programmable electromechanical signal processors operating in real time at carrier frequencies. Dana is the recipient of the NSF CAREER Award, the DARPA Young Faculty Award, the Intel Early Career Award, and the IEEE IEDM Roger A. Haken Best Paper Award.

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Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Dana Weinstein (2014), "RF Solid-State Vibrating Transistors," http://nanohub.org/resources/20335.

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