Third-order intermodulation in a micromechanical thermal mixer

Robert B. Reichenbach, Maxim Zalalutdinov, Keith L. Aubin, Richard Rand, Brian H. Houston, Jeevak M. Parpia, Harold G. Craighead

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


A radio frequency (RF) micromechanical shell-type resonator with a resistive thermal actuator is shown to perform as a highly linear, broadband mixer and a high-quality factor post-translation (intermediate frequency) filter. The resistor is capable of frequency translation of RF carrier signals as high as 1.5 GHz to the intermediate frequency of 12.7 MHz. The thermal actuator allows electrical isolation between the input aild output of the mixer-filter, dc bias independent mixing, and provides a 50-Ohm load to match the output of front-end electronics. High linearity is demonstrated in the mixer with a third-order input intercept point of +30 dBm for interferers spaced at a 50-kHz offset from the carrier frequency. A variant of the Duffing oscillator model and finite element modeling are used to analyze the origin of nonlinearities in the micromechanical system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1244-1252
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Microelectromechanical Systems
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2005


  • Bandpass filter
  • Duffing oscillator
  • Intermediate frequency
  • Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS)
  • Mixer
  • Non-linear oscillations
  • Radio frequency (RF)
  • Thermal mechanical coupling
  • Third-order intermodulation distortion (IM)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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