A capacitive rf power sensor based on mems technology

L.J. Fernandez, Remco J. Wiegerink, Jakob Flokstra, Jan Flokstra, J. Sesé, Henricus V. Jansen, Michael Curt Elwenspoek

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Wideband 100 kHz–4 GHz power sensors are presented, which are based on sensing the electrostatic force between an RF signal line and a suspended membrane. The electrostatic force, which is proportional to the square of the rms signal voltage and thus to the signal power, results in a displacement of the suspended membrane. This displacement is detected capacitively, allowing the sensing of the signal power with extremely low dissipative losses; therefore the sensor can be placed in a transmission line with negligible disturbance of the signal. Devices have been designed and fabricated successfully by aluminum surface micromachining using photoresist as the sacrificial layer. Optimization of the design with SONNET has resulted in measured return and insertion losses (S11 and S21) better than −30 dB and −0.15 dB, respectively, up to 4 GHz, and a sensitivity of 90 aF mW–1.
Original languageUndefined
Article number10.1088/0960-1317/16/7/001
Pages (from-to)S1099-S1107
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of micromechanics and microengineering
Issue numberIEEE Produ
Publication statusPublished - 28 Apr 2006


  • EWI-9182
  • IR-66907
  • METIS-238775

Cite this

Fernandez, L. J., Wiegerink, R. J., Flokstra, J., Flokstra, J., Sesé, J., Jansen, H. V., & Elwenspoek, M. C. (2006). A capacitive rf power sensor based on mems technology. Journal of micromechanics and microengineering, 16(IEEE Produ), S1099-S1107. [10.1088/0960-1317/16/7/001]. https://doi.org/10.1088/0960-1317/16/7/001