Performance of THz Components Based on Microstrip PECVD SiNx Technology

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We present a performance analysis of passive THz components based on Microstrip transmission lines with a 2-μmthin plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition grown silicon nitride (PECVD SiNX) dielectric layer. A set of thru-reflect-line calibration structures is used for basic transmission line characterizations. We obtain losses of 9 dB/mm at 300 GHz. Branchline hybrid couplers are realized that exhibit 2.5-dB insertion loss, 1-dB amplitude imbalance, and -26-dB isolation, in agreement with simulations. We use the measured center frequency to determine the dielectric constant of the PECVD SiNx, which yields 5.9. We estimate the wafer-to-wafer variations to be of the order of 1%. Directional couplers are presented which exhibit -12-dB transmission to the coupled port and -26 dB to the isolated port. For transmission lines with 5-μm-thin silicon nitride (SiNx), we observe losses below 4 dB/mm. The thin SiNx dielectric membrane makes the THz components compatible with scanning probe microscopy cantilevers allowing the application of this technology in on-chip circuits of a THz near-field microscope.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)765-771
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Transactions on Terahertz Science and Technology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Coplanar waveguides
  • Couplers
  • Dielectrics
  • Power transmission lines
  • Probes
  • Standards
  • Transmission line measurements
  • Coupling circuits
  • micromechanical devices
  • submillimeter wave circuits
  • thin film circuits


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