FDTD analysis of passive structures in RF IC'S


Microwave circuits play an important role in wireless communications. Microwave circuits are made up of many components, including passive devices. Passive devices include resistors, capacitors, inductors, and transformers. These passive devices are used to help lower noise and to allow signals to pass effectively though the circuit. The Finite-Difference Time-Domain (FDTD) method is a powerful tool used to analyze the electromagnetic properties of objects. FDTD can be used to model the electromagnetic behavior of microwave circuits. Important electromagnetic properties such as S-parameters, effective dielectric constant, phase constant, and the movement of the electric and magnetic fields through the circuit can be extracted from a single FDTD simulation. Also of particular interest is the frequency response of a circuit, which can be determined by taking the Fourier transform of the time-domain results. FDTD is an efficient way to determine many electromagnetic characteristics of a microwave circuit. FDTD offers a programmer much freedom in assigning the shape, properties, and size of a structure that is to be analyzed. Also, FDTD is more robust than other electromagnetic analysis methods due to the algorithm it uses in finding the electric and magnetic fields. These useful aspects of FDTD make it the top choice in analyzing passive devices in microwave circuits. The thesis involves the electromagnetic analysis of passive structures that are used in RF IC's. Circuits that will be analyzed include a low-pass filter, antenna, and coplanar waveguides. This leads to the ultimate goal of the thesis, the analysis of a spiral inductor that is to be used in an RF IC. Spiral inductors are used as passive devices in planar microwave circuits. Spiral inductors can take on several shapes, with the square being the shape of interest in this thesis. FDTD will be used to analyze the electromagnetic properties of the spiral inductor, with the inductance being extracted from the values of the electromagnetic variables calculated during the simulation. Two types of spiral inductors will be analyzed; a three-turn spiral inductor and an eight-turn spiral inductor. Both types of spiral inductor will be analyzed on silicon and gallium arsenide dielectric substrates. The inductance values extracted from the spiral inductor can be used to determine how the inductor will behave as part of a microwave circuit. Inductor behavior is critical in that the performance of an RF IC will be affected if inductors are not performing optimally.


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Thesis Completion





Wu, Thomas X.


Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


College of Engineering

Degree Program

Electrical Engineering


Dissertations, Academic -- Engineering;Engineering -- Dissertations, Academic







Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus-only Access


Document Type

Honors in the Major Thesis

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