Permittivity measurements up to 30 GHz using micromachined probe

Jung Mu Kim, Dong Hoon Oh, Jae Hyoung Park, Jei Won Cho, Youngwoo Kwon, Changyul Cheon, Yong Kweon Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


We implemented a micromachined probe for the measurement of biological properties using MEMS technology, and experimentally showed the suitability of the micromachined probe in biological applications. The micromachined probe was fabricated on a silicon substrate, and to remove wave transmission through the silicon substrate, we etched the silicon substrate from beneath a lower ground and made the etched silicon surface conducting by using thermal evaporation of Cr/Au and a coating of conductive epoxy. The micromachined probe consists of a CPW and strip line between benzo cyclo butene (BCB) layers, which is known to be a material with high resistivity, low loss tangent, and low permittivity at high frequency. We measured the permittivity of a number of well-known liquids - 0.5%, 0.9% and 1.3% saline, acetone, ethanol, and muscle and fat of pork - as biological samples using the micromachined probe after liquid calibration. The measured permittivity of 0.9% saline agreed well with the expected value of the Cole-Cole equation. In this paper, we first demonstrate that the micromachined probe can provide broadband measurement of measurable solid materials, such as biological samples, and also of well-known liquids at microwave frequencies. The size of the micromachined probe is 2000 μm (width) × 580 μm (thickness) × 30 000 μm (length), and the aperture size of the micromachined probe is only 650 μm × 70 μm. Therefore, we can extract the biological information from very small biological tissues and reduce radiation effects. Thus we show the feasibility of low-cost, small and portable permittivity measurement systems using a micromachined open-ended coaxial RF MEMS probe.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)543-550
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Micromechanics and Microengineering
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2005


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