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Finkel, M., Thierschmann, H., Galatro, L., Katan, A. J., Thoen, D. J., de Visser, P. J., et al. (2017). Performance of THz components based on microstrip PECVD SiNx technology. IEEE Trans. THz Sci. Technol., 7(6), 765–771.
Abstract: 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 SiN x , 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 (SiN x ), we observe losses below 4 dB/mm. The thin SiN x 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.