Design and analysis of a three-dimensional millimeter-wave frequency-shift based CMOS biosensor using vertically stacked spiral inductors in LC oscillators


This paper proposes a novel millimeter-wave frequency-shift based CMOS biosensor capable of providing three-dimensional (3D) resolution. The vertical resolution from the sensor chip surface can be obtained by using vertically stacked on-chip inductors of LC oscillators in dual metal layers, which enables 3D detection of biomolecular target. The LC oscillators with spiral inductors stacked in upper and lower metal layers produce different shifts in the frequencies from the desired resonant frequency of 60 GHz due to frequency dependent complex relative permittivity of targeted bio-molecular structure. The vertical resolution of the sensor can also be improved by changing the supply voltage. The effectiveness of the proposed approach is verified by fabricating a test chip in 65 nm CMOS process. The measurement results show variation in the resonant frequency shifts due to upper and lower spiral inductors of LC oscillators which demonstrates the capability of the proposed biosensor to provide 3D resolution.

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This research was financially supported by JST, PRESTO (No. JPMJPR15D5), by a Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (S) (Nos. 20226009, 25220906, and 26220801) and a Grant-in-Aid for Young Scientists (A) (No. 16H06088) from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan, by the Strategic Information and Communications R&D Promotion Programme (Nos. 121806006 and 152106004) of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Japan, by TOYOTA RIKEN, by the Hibi Science Foundation, and by The Nitto Foundation. The fabrication of CMOS chips was supported by the VLSI Design and Education Center (VDEC), University of Tokyo in collaboration with Synopsys, Inc. and Cadence Design Systems, Inc.

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Correspondence to Maya Matsunaga.

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Matsunaga, M., Nakanishi, T., Kobayashi, A. et al. Design and analysis of a three-dimensional millimeter-wave frequency-shift based CMOS biosensor using vertically stacked spiral inductors in LC oscillators. Analog Integr Circ Sig Process 98, 453–464 (2019).

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  • Biosensor
  • CMOS
  • Three-dimensional
  • LC oscillator
  • Millimeter wave