Date of Award

Summer 2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Computational Analysis and Modeling

First Advisor

Chester Wilson


In this dissertation, an RF MEMS variable capacitor suitable for applications requiring ultrawide capacitive tuning ranges is reported. The device uses an electrostatically tunable liquid dielectric interface to continuously vary the capacitance without the use of any moving parts. As compared to existing MEMS varactors in literature, this device has an extremely simple design that can be implemented using simple fabrication methods that do not necessitate the use of clean room equipment. In addition, this varactor is particularly suited for incorporating a wide range of liquid dielectric materials for specific tuning ratio requirements.

Additionally, the shielding effectiveness performance of graphene-doped ABS thin films is investigated. The use of graphene as a replacement for metal fillers in composite EMI shielding materials is quickly becoming a widely-investigated field in the electromagnetic compatibility community. By replacing conventional metal-based shielding methods with graphene-doped polymers, low-weight, field-use temporary shielding enclosures can be implemented that do not suffer from mechanical unreliability and corrosion/oxidation like a traditional metal enclosure. While the performance of composite EMI shielding materials has not yet surpassed metals, the advantages of polymer-based shielding methods could find usage in a variety of applications.

Finally, mutliband pre-fractal antennas fabricated via 3D printing are reported. These devices are the first to incorporate the advantages of 3D printing (rapid prototyping, fabrication of complex geometries otherwise unobtainable) with the advantages of self-similar antennas (increased gain and multiband performance) in a single device. The Sierpinski tetrahedron-based antenna design was both computationally modeled and physically realized to illustrate its potential as a solution to enable true multiband communication platforms.