Date of Award

Spring 4-1-2011

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Electrical, Computer & Energy Engineering

First Advisor

Zoya Popovic

Second Advisor

Dejan Filipovic

Third Advisor

Edward F Kuester


This thesis addresses circuits and systems optimized for the unique requirements of near-field microwave microscopy (NFMM). A suite of qualification measurements is conducted for the systematic characterization of the NFMM measurement system. Finally, modeling methods and quantitative analysis are performed for the interpretation of resulting measurements.

An NFMM measurement typically suffers from small signal in the presence of seemingly overwhelming white and 1/f noise. As such, it requires instrumentation that provides signal enhancement, noise reduction, and long-term stability. This thesis describes the design and characterization of probe circuits and probe tips which enable sensitive and high-resolution NFMM with enhanced signals. The space efficient probe circuit is designed for ease of integration and eventual MMIC implementation.

The scanning Lock-in Vector Near-field Probe (LVNP) instrument is designed for the readout of the near-field probe circuit. Selection of measurement topology for the purpose of noise reduction/mitigation is described. The LVNP is characterized with respect to noise, stability, and maximum signal sensitivity.

In summary, this thesis details the design of a complete system for near-field microwave microscopy including probe tip, probe circuit, and instrument design. Performance limitations are quantified throughout the thesis in the hope of promoting a systematic approach to NFMM instrumentation, and quantitative data analysis techniques are proposed.