Nano-patterned permalloy thin film enabled electrically tunable spiral inductor

Inductors are one of the key components and are widely used in modern RFIC and MMIC systems. With the increasing trend of working frequencies, high performance inductors are greatly demanded and indispensable in current and future communication systems. However, inductors generally take large chip area and play a limiting role in further reducing size and cost. Electrically tunable inductors are highly capable of solving the technical bottlenecks with decreased complexity and size of systems. Tunable inductors become more critical especially when optimum tuning or impedance matching is required in a broad frequency range.

Tunable inductors can be widely applied in frequency-agile radios, tunable filters, voltage-controlled oscillators and reconfigurable impedance matching networks. This paper provides a unique design of electrically tunable radio frequency inductor enabled with nano patterned Permaloy (Py) thin films. This paper provides a first electrically tunable RF inductor enabled with Py thin film nano-patterns Various types of inductor have been designed and compared; good improvement and tunability of inductance density have been achieved and demonstrated the efficacy of the design concept.