Small conductive particle detection with a microwave resonant cavity

Makoto Ikeda, Atsushi Mase, Kiichiro Uchino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The recent miniaturization and increased complexity of electrical devices have increased the influence of impurities on device performance, especially the influence of small conductive particles with a size on the order of micrometers. Therefore, the inspection of devices during the manufacturing process has become important. In this study, changes in the resonance properties of a microwave cavity were used to detect a metal particle. The decrease in the resonant frequency for a 100-μm stainless steel sphere was about 0.1 MHz, which was less than 1 ppm of the resonant frequency used. This frequency change is too small to detect directly in the output of a particle detector. Transmission measurements (the scattering parameter S21) at a frequency that was a few megahertz higher than the resonant frequency where the S21 changes sharply were used to magnify signal changes resulting from the introduction of a small conductive particle. A resonant frequency of 13.3 GHz and a frequency 3 MHz higher were chosen for obtaining measurements in the present study. By applying a filtering technique, it was shown that the minimum detectable sphere size is around 50 μm. This sensitivity was experimentally shown to be uneven along the long axis of the cavity. The unevenness was related to the electrical field strength of the standing wave at the resonant frequency. For practical industrial inspection of devices, multiple frequencies should be employed in view of the present discussion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-67
Number of pages7
JournalElectrical Engineering in Japan (English translation of Denki Gakkai Ronbunshi)
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 30 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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