Contact Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology
Mike & Ophelia Lazaridis Quantum-Nano Centre, Room 3606
University of Waterloo
200 University Ave. W.
Waterloo, ON. N2L 3G1
+1 519 888 4567, ext.38654
The Centre for Integrated Radio Frequency Engineering (CIRFE) lab is a key Micro-Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) facility in Canada established by Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology member, Raafat Mansour. Established in 1999 with funds from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), Ontario Innovation Trust (OIT) and COM DEV, the CIRFE houses a class of 10,000 clean rooms and a characterization laboratory for radio frequency MEMS devices.
The uniqueness of the facility stems from the fact that it is one of the few clean room facilities that is designed to use metals such as gold and silver. While gold is necessary in making high performance low-loss MEMS, gold is known to contaminate microelectronic thin film processes. None of the clean facilities at University of Waterloo or nearby universities permit the use of gold in their equipment. The ability to use gold films is a key feature that is so important to many researchers who need to use such type of films for their devices.
Capabilities and Equipment
The focus of the CIRFE research activities is on emerging Radio Frequency (RF) technologies including RF Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS), miniature Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), wireless intelligent systems, filters and multiplexers, superconductivity, novel materials, computer-aided circuit diagnosis, simulation, and modeling. The uniqueness of the CIRFE lies in the ability to integrate various RF technologies and in its wide range of capabilities, which include research, development, modeling, design, fabrication, packaging, and testing.
RF MEMS switches; switch matrices; varactors; micromachined filters; micromachined antennas; phase shifters; adaptive MEMS-based RF and optical systems; MEMS packaging.
Filters and Multiplexers
Dielectric resonator, waveguide, coaxial, superconductive and active filters; highly miniature filters and tunable filters; temperature compensation of high power filters; miniature filters structures based on bandgap and meta-materials.
Modeling and advanced design methodologies
Computer-aided diagnosis of RF circuits (frequency domain, time domain, fuzzy logic); electromagnetic (EM)-based design methodologies; mixed RF/thermal analysis of high power RF circuits.
Passive and active RFIDs; miniature antennas; micro generators; and wireless sensors.
- RF design tools
- Sonnet EM
- Q3D Extractor
- In-house software tools
- MEMS Design and Layout Tools
- Optical Design Tools
- In-house software tools
- PECVD deposition of nitride, silicon oxide
- RIE etching of nitride, silicon oxide
- E-beam evaporation and sputtering of metals
- Spin coating of low-K and high K materials
- Wet etching and photolithography
- Laser micromachining (Green and UV)
- Critical Point CO2Dryer
- Electroplating: gold and silver
- Wire/ribbon bonding
- Flip chip bonding
- Substrate to carrier attachment
- Surface micromachining for wafer level packaging
- VNA frequency domain testing up to 40 GHz, with time domain capability
- On-wafer probe testing (room temperature)
- On-wafer probe testing in vacuum (10-6 torr) over temperatures down to 10 K with laser trimming capability
- A temperature controlled chamber for testing devices down to 77 K>
- Optical breadboarding and bench testing
- A multi-channel MEMS driver station
- Multifunction generators, power suppliers, high frequency bias tees