Impedance of Soft Magnetic Multilayers Application to GHz Thin Film Inductors
Abstract: A theoretical approach to calculating impedance of metallicmagnetic/conductor layered structures is developed. Thefrequency range considered extends to the ferromagneticresonance region of soft magnetic films (of the order of 1GHz). The analysis includes the effects of screening of thehigh frequency fields by eddy currents as well as the dynamicsand relaxation of the magnetization of the ferromagneticsub-system. Analytical expressions for the impedance as afunction of frequency and material parameters and geometry ofmagnetic sandwich stripes are obtained. Two maincross-sectional layouts are considered: amagnetic/conductor/magnetic sandwich stripe with and withoutflux closure at the edges along the stripe length - with andwithout the magnetic film enclosing the conductor strip. Theimportance of good magnetic flux closure for achieving largespecific inductance gains and high efficiency at GHzfrequencies is emphasized.The theoretical results obtained were used to design andanalyze magneticfilm inductors produced using iron nitridealloy films. Patterned sandwiches, consisting of two Fe-N filmsenclosing a conductor film made of Cu, were fabricated onoxidized Si substrates using lift-off lithography. Theinductors exhibited a 2-fold specific inductance enhancement at1 GHz. The magnetic contribution to the total flux in thenarrow devices was less then predicted theoretically, which wasattributed to hardening of the magnetic material at the edgesof the strip leading to incomplete flux closure. Material anddesign issues important for further improving the performanceof the devices are discussed.
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