Observation of explosive spectral behaviors in proton-enhanced high-Q inductors and their explanations

Chungpin Liao*, Chih-Wei Liu, Yu Min Hsu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The verified success of proton-beam treatment in both the device isolation and the inductor Q-improvement on Si substrates is now enticing some big chipmakers into realizing a VLSI back-end facility: the particle-beam stand (PBS). The PBS can potentially end the traditionally laborious mixed-mode product development cycle and eventually become the general system-on-a-chip (SOC) integration platform. However, it is noticed by the authors that the observed Q-improvement might in fact have fallen short of what it should be. Namely, if substrate resistivity is the sole dominant factor deciding the ultimate inductor Q value, then apparently the proton-achieved resistivity did not bring forth the anticipated ideal Q value of the order of several tens. Furthermore, there are several puzzles in the observed inductance spectral behaviors. Among others, there is an explosive rise of inductance near certain frequencies in some cases but not in others, and the inductor size effect that dubiously alters the frequency at which the above inductance rises occur. Such difficulties outwit the existing understanding of the microstrip inductors. A new theory is briefly presented here to unravel the cause of such incomplete Q-improvement and hopefully to resolve all related puzzles. It includes identifying the inductor-substrate coupling effect as a result of the proton bombardment, using a special dipole-dominated expansion of the inductor system equations, and further applying the notion of electromagnetic mass of electron. With such theoretical insight, ideal high-Q passives may be just a few steps away using the so-called "dipole engineering" approach on PBS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)758-763
Number of pages6
JournalIEEE Transactions on Electron Devices
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2003


  • High resistivity
  • High-Q inductor
  • Proton beam
  • RF system-on-a-chip (SOC)

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