Graduation Year

2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.S.E.E.

Degree Name

MS in Electrical Engineering (M.S.E.E.)

Degree Granting Department

Electrical Engineering

Major Professor

Thomas M. Weller, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Rudy Schlaf, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jing Wang, Ph.D.

Keywords

3D Printing, Additive Manufacturing, Microstrip, Power Handling, Thermal, Wilkinson

Abstract

Various facets of direct digital manufactured (DDM) microwave packages are studied. The rippled surface inherent in fused deposition modeling (FDM) fabricated geometries is modeled in Ansoft HFSS, and its effect on the performance of microstrip transmission lines is assessed via simulation and measurement. The thermal response of DDM microstrip transmission lines is analyzed over a range of RF input powers, and linearity is confirmed over that range.

Two IC packages are embedded into DDM printed circuit boards, and their performance is analyzed. The first is a low power RF switch, and the second is an RF front end device that includes a low noise amplifier (LNA) and a power amplifier (PA). The RF switch is shown to perform well, as compared to a layout designed for a Rogers 4003C microwave laminate substrate. The LNA performs within datasheet specifications. The power amplifier generates substantial heat, so a thermal management attempt is described.

Finally, a capacitively loaded 6dB Wilkinson power divider is designed and fabricated using DDM techniques and materials. Its performance is analyzed and compared to simulation. The device is shown to compare favorably to a similar device fabricated on a Rogers 4003C microwave laminate using traditional printed circuit board techniques.

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