Monolithic Analog Phase Shifters Based on Barium Strontium Titanate Coated Sapphire Substrates for WLAN Applications
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The objective of this research is to implement monolithic analog phase shifters based on barium strontium titanate (BST) coated sapphire substrates for IEEE 802.11b wireless local area network (WLAN) applications. It has been known that several BST thin film properties such as high relative permittivity, electric field dependence, fast polarization response, relatively low loss, and high breakdown field, allow for miniaturization and high performance of analog phase shifters. Before attempting to implement BST phase shifters, coplanar waveguides (CPWs) and interdigital capacitors (IDCs) based on various BST compositions and thicknesses have been developed and characterized to capitalize on the electrical properties of BST thin films. Based on the characteristics of BST thin films, two design topologies have been studied to implement phase shifters. The first topology is a reflection-type structure. The reflection-type phase shifter composed of a 3-dB coupler and two identical reflective terminations has provided a large phase shift with a relatively low insertion loss. The second topology is an all-pass network structure. The all-pass network phase shifter consists of only lumped elements so that one can shrink in size of devices. The total chip area of the all-pass network phase shifter is only 2.6 mm * 2.2 mm with a loss figure-of-merit (FOM) of more than 69 deg/dB at 2.4 GHz. This is the smallest size and the best performance obtained to date for BST phase shifters in the 2.4 GHz band and comparable or even better than the state of the GaAs MMIC phase shifters. The nonlinear response of the all-pass network phase shifter also was investigated with two-tone intermodulation distortion (IMD) measurement. Furthermore, the all-pass network phase shifter was studied to ascertain a design to ensure minimum performance variation over a range of temperature and to determine which BST composition performed best in the face of temperature variations. Compact beamforming networks (BFNs) for WLAN systems using client-based smart antennas have been demonstrated to validate the feasibility of BST technology for WLAN applications. The two-element BFNs have been shown to increase throughput and network capacity by rejecting interference.