Micromachined Waveguides with Integrated Silicon Absorbers and Attenuators at 220–325GHz

This paper reports for the first time on micromachined waveguides with integrated micromachined silicon absorbers. In contrast to epoxy-based microwave absorbers, micromachined lossy silicon absorbers are fully compatible with high temperature fabrication and assembly processes for micromachined waveguides. Furthermore, micromachining enables the fabrication of exact, near ideal taper tips for the silicon absorbers, whereas the tip of epoxy-based absorbers cannot be shaped accurately and reproducibly for small waveguides. Silicon of different conductivity is a very well understood and characterized dielectric material, in contrast to conventional absorber materials which are not specified above 60 GHz. Micromachined silicon waveguides with integrated absorbers and attenuators were designed, fabricated and characterized in the frequency band of 220–325 GHz. The return and insertion loss for various taper-geometry variations of double-tip tapered absorbers and attenuators was studied. The average return loss for the best investigated device is 19 dB over the whole band. The insertion loss of the two-port attenuators is 16–33 dB for different designs and shows an excellent agreement to the simulated results. The best measured devices of the one-port absorbers exhibit an average and worst-case return loss of 22 dB and 14 dB, respectively, over the whole band. The return loss is not characterized by a good simulation-measurement match, which is most likely attributed to placement tolerances of the absorbers in the waveguide cavities affecting the return but not the insertion loss.