Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

MS in Electrical Engineering (M.S.E.E.)

Degree Granting Department

Electrical Engineering

Major Professor

Jing Wang, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Gokhan Mumcu, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Arash Takshi, Ph.D.


Phase Array, 3-D Printing, Aperture Coupled, Embedded, Thermal Management


Packaging of an RF Beamforming IC was performed using an additive manufacturingplatform with FDM, microdispensing, laser subtractive manufacturing, and milling. The beamforming IC was embedded within a multilayer device structure in order to feed a 2x2 antenna sub-array in a compact and completely integrated package. Additive manufacturing allows for simple variation in material parameters and properties that enhances the ability to develop integrated system packaging. This study builds on previous investigations and demonstrates the ability to embed an active RF device with measurable gain within a printed plastic substrate. Critical to developing a repeatable method for this packaging solution, initial studies were made to characterize the materials used and to duplicate the structures and printing methods needed to fabricate the final device.

The commercial-off-the-shelf beamforming IC uses mixed signal technology to allow for RF I/O and digital control to allow for phase shifting of the different channels. This chip also exhibits a dense array of pads as compared to other packaging solutions using additive manufacturing. Several steps are required to complete the testing including printing low loss, small width interconnects to address signal routing of printed RF and DC transmission lines. Due to the active devices on the beamforming IC, thermal management required changes to the initial design and altered antenna performance.