15 Janvier – Thesis defense - Marco Cabbia

10 h30 Amphi Jean-Paul Dom - Laboratory IMS / Building A31 (Talence campus)

(Sub)-millimeter wave on-wafer calibration and device characterization.

Precision measurements play a crucial role in electronic engineering, particularly in the characterization of silicon-based heterojunction bipolar transistors (HBTs) embedded into devices for THz applications using the BiCMOS technology. Thanks to ongoing innovations in terms of nanoscale technology manufacturing, devices capable of operating in the sub-millimeter wave region are becoming a reality, and need to support the demand for high frequency circuits and systems. To have accurate models at such frequencies, it is no longer possible to limit the parameter extraction below 110 GHz, and new techniques for obtaining reliable measurements of passive and active devices must be investigated.
In this thesis, we examine the on-wafer S-parameters characterization of various passive test structures and SiGe HBTs in STMicroelectronics' B55 technology, up to 500 GHz. We start with an introduction of the measuring equipment usually employed for this type of analysis, then moving on to the various probe stations adopted at the IMS Laboratory, and finally focusing on calibration and deembedding techniques, reviewing the major criticalities of high-frequency characterization and comparing two on-wafer calibration algorithms (SOLT and TRL) up to the WR-2.2 band.
Two photomask production runs for on-wafer characterization, both designed at IMS, are considered: we introduce a new floorplan design and evaluate its ability to limit parasitic effects as well as the effect of the environment (substrate, neighbors, and crosstalk). For our analysis, we rely on electromagnetic simulations and joint device model + probe EM simulations, both including probe models for an evaluation of measurement results closer to real-world conditions.
Finally, we present some test structures to evaluate unwanted impacts on millimeter wave measurements and novel transmission line design solutions. Two promising designs are carefully studied: the "M3 layout", which aims to characterize the DUT in a single-tier calibration, and the "meander lines", which keeps the inter-probe distance constant by avoiding any sort of probe displacement during on-wafer measurements.

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