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RF Soft Magnetic Applications as Integrated Passives M. Yamaguchi, K-H Kim, S. Ikeda and K. I.

Arai Research Institute of Electrical Communication Tohoku University 2-1-1 Katahira, Aoba-ku Sendai 980-8577, Japan Huge applications of soft magnetic films can be expected as integrated passives in the latest IT devices, including CMOS compatible RF integrated inductors and transformers, transmission line devices, electromagnetic noise countermeasure, sensors, etc. The targeting frequency range would be between 800MHz and 6GHz. There are two types of applications classified based on the relative complex permeability, r=r-jr. High value of r and r=0 are ideal for integrated magnetic thin film inductors, transformers and transmission lines for monolithic microwave integrated circuits (MMICs), where the magnetic films can improve the degree of per-unit-area functionality on a processing wafer through flux linkage increase, size reduction and loss reduction. Two types of RF integrated magnetic thin-film inductors were microfabricated on high resistivity Si wafer (>500cm.) The sandwich type one-port spiral inductor has a four-turn and 400 x 200 m2 size copper spiral coil with cross-sectional dimension of 8 x 3 m2. The coil was sandwiched by the 0.1 m thick Co85Zr12Nb3 amorphous film with narrow slit train along easy axis direction to enhance the ferromagnetic resonance frequency [1]. The inductance exhibited was 19% better (7.9nH) and the quality factor was 23% better (12.7) than air-core inductor of the same dimension. A simple on-top type two-port spiral inductor as shown in Fig. 1 was also examined, which has 377 x 377 m2 size four-turn copper square spiral covered with the 0.1 m thick Co85Zr12Nb3 amorphous film. The equivalent circuit analysis was performed in a 100MHz-5GHz range, which clarified the parasitic capacitances and resistances as well as the main inductance and resistance. It was significant that the magnetic film enhanced the inductance up to 5GHz. Low value of r and high value of r are requested for integrated electromagnetic noise countermeasure. Possible configuration is to integrate the mangnetic film on to a RF transmission line. Fig. 2 shows the microfabricated co-planar transmission line. The metal layer is made of electroplated copper. The ideal role of magnetic film is not to raise insertion losses in the passband and to give as large attenuation as possible to eliminate the noise harmonics at the stop-band, the frequency range higher than the meaningful signal. Any applications in the RF range are associated with ferromagnetic resonance (FMR) of the magnetic spin. We have proposed a very convenient idea to shift the FMR frequency of any kind of soft magnetic films toward the higher frequency range: application of slit trains along the easy axis direction [1]. The anisotropy filed, Hk, of the slitted film is enhanced when applied magnetic filed along the hard axis direction since the FMR frequency is proportional to M s / H k . The effective anisotropy field, permeability and the FMR frequency can be calculated through static magnetic filed simulation. A useful chart like Fig. 1 is now being constructed. This technique can extend the applicable frequency range of electrodeposited soft magnetic films. Reference: [1] M. Yamaguchi, et al., IEEE Trans. Magn., 36 (2000), 3495.

Fig. 1 Two port type ferromagnetic RF integrated inductor.

(a)Left hand side edge of a (b)Enlarged view of (a) 17mm long line. Total width is 400m with two 10m wide gaps. Fig. 2 Microfabricated co-planar transmission line made of electrodeposited copper. Co-planar transmission line is most common in RF analogue circuitry.

Fig. 3 Simulated low frequency permeability of the slitted magnetic film: Film thickness: 1m, magnetic film width wm and slit width dm. Ms=1.0T, Hk=10 Oe(intrinsic).