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RF-MEMS for 5G mobile communications: A basic attenuator module demonstrated up to 50 GHz

: Iannacci, J.; Tschoban, C.; Reyes, J.; Maaß, U.; Huhn, M.; Ndip, I.; Pötter, H.


Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers -IEEE-:
IEEE SENSORS 2016 : Orlando, Florida, USA, October 30-November 2, 2016; Proceedings papers
Piscataway, NJ: IEEE, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-4799-8287-5
ISBN: 1-4799-8288-1
ISBN: 978-1-4799-8288-2 (Print)
Sensors Conference <15, 2016, Orlano/Fla.>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IZM ()

After fluctuating expectations and disillusionments, RF-MEMS technology is starting to make its way into market applications. To this regard, the upcoming field of 5G seems to be the fitting application area for such a technology to fully express its potential. In this work, we present an RF-MEMS basic 2-state attenuator module, simulated and measured up to 50 GHz. A series resistive load, inserted on the RF line, can be shorted by electrostatically actuating a suspended Gold thin membrane. When the load is inserted, a rather flat attenuation level (S21) is observed over the whole range, it spanning from -9 dB to -6 dB as the frequency increases. On the other hand, when shorted, the module exhibits a loss (S21) better than -1.4 dB up to 50 GHz. The discussed basic module can then be exploited as building block to implement more complex RF signal conditioning functions.