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Sensors 2017, 17(6), 1426; doi:10.3390/s17061426

n+ GaAs/AuGeNi-Au Thermocouple-Type RF MEMS Power Sensors Based on Dual Thermal Flow Paths in GaAs MMIC

Key Laboratory of MEMS of the Ministry of Education, Southeast University, Nanjing 210096, China
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Received: 18 May 2017 / Revised: 12 June 2017 / Accepted: 15 June 2017 / Published: 17 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue MEMS and Nano-Sensors)
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Abstract

To achieve radio frequency (RF) power detection, gain control, and circuit protection, this paper presents n+ GaAs/AuGeNi-Au thermocouple-type RF microelectromechanical system (MEMS) power sensors based on dual thermal flow paths. The sensors utilize a conversion principle of RF power-heat-voltage, where a thermovoltage is obtained as the RF power changes. To improve the heat transfer efficiency and the sensitivity, structures of two heat conduction paths are designed: one in which a thermal slug of Au is placed between two load resistors and hot junctions of the thermocouples, and one in which a back cavity is fabricated by the MEMS technology to form a substrate membrane underneath the resistors and the hot junctions. The improved sensors were fabricated by a GaAs monolithic microwave integrated circuit (MMIC) process. Experiments show that these sensors have reflection losses of less than −17 dB up to 12 GHz. At 1, 5, and 10 GHz, measured sensitivities are about 63.45, 53.97, and 44.14 µV/mW for the sensor with the thermal slug, and about 111.03, 94.79, and 79.04 µV/mW for the sensor with the thermal slug and the back cavity, respectively. View Full-Text
Keywords: n+ GaAs/AuGeNi-Au thermocouples; thermal flow path; GaAs MMIC; microwave measurement; power sensor; RF MEMS n+ GaAs/AuGeNi-Au thermocouples; thermal flow path; GaAs MMIC; microwave measurement; power sensor; RF MEMS
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Zhang, Z.; Liao, X. n+ GaAs/AuGeNi-Au Thermocouple-Type RF MEMS Power Sensors Based on Dual Thermal Flow Paths in GaAs MMIC. Sensors 2017, 17, 1426.

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