A MEMS Ultra-Wideband (UWB) Power Sensor with a Fe-Co-B Core Planar Inductor and a Vibrating Diaphragm Capacitor

Sensors (Basel). 2021 Jun 3;21(11):3858. doi: 10.3390/s21113858.


The design of a microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) ultra-wideband (UWB) RMS power sensor is presented. The sensor incorporates a microfabricated Fe-Co-B core planar inductor and a microfabricated vibrating diaphragm variable capacitor on adhesively bonded glass wafers in a footprint area of 970 × 970 µm2 to operate in the 3.1-10.6 GHz UWB frequency range. When exposed to a far-field UWB electromagnetic radiation, the planar inductor acts as a loop antenna to generate a frequency-independent voltage across the MEMS capacitor. The voltage generates a coulombic attraction force between the diaphragm and backplate that deforms the diaphragm to change the capacitance. The frequency-independent capacitance change is sensed using a transimpedance amplifier to generate an output voltage. The sensor exhibits a linear capacitance change induced voltage relation and a calculated sensitivity of 4.5 aF/0.8 µA/m. The sensor can be used as a standalone UWB power sensor or as a 2D array for microwave-based biomedical diagnostic imaging applications or for non-contact material characterization. The device can easily be tailored for power sensing in other application areas such as, 5G, WiFi, and Internet-of-Things (IoT). The foreseen fabrication technique can rely on standard readily available microfabrication techniques.

Keywords: MEMS; UWB; planar inductor; power sensor; vibrating diaphragm capacitor.