Development of micromachined millimeter-wave modules for next-generation wireless transceiver front-ends
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This thesis discusses the design, fabrication, integration and characterization of millimeter wave passive components using polymer-core-conductor surface micromachining technologies. Several antennas, including a W-band broadband micromachined monopole antenna on a lossy glass substrate, and a Ka-band elevated patch antenna, and a V-band micromachined horn antenna, are presented. All antennas have advantages such as a broad operation band and high efficiency. A low-loss broadband coupler and a high-Q cavity for millimeter-wave applications, using surface micromachining technologies is reported using the same technology. Several low-loss all-pole band-pass filters and transmission-zero filters are developed, respectively. Superior simulation and measurement results show that polymer-core-conductor surface micromachining is a powerful technology for the integration of high-performance cavity, coupler and filters. Integration of high performance millimeter-wave transceiver front-end is also presented for the first time. By elevating a cavity-filter-based duplexer and a horn antenna on top of the substrate and using air as the filler, the dielectric loss can be eliminated. A full-duplex transceiver front-end integrated with amplifiers are designed, fabricated, and comprehensively characterized to demonstrate advantages brought by this surface micromachining technology. It is a low loss and substrate-independent solution for millimeter-wave transceiver integration.