FWF - WISDOM - Smart Wideband Low Cost Passive and Active Integrated Antennas for THz Wireless Communications

Project: Research project

Description

Wireless communications has become a core component in our daily life. Many mobile and stationary devices in our environment provide wireless interfaces we can connect to. Due to the extensive deployment of mobile devices, there is an exponentially increasing demand from costumers for high-speed mobile data. Already today by far the biggest amount of wireless data transfer is produced by mobile phones. However the spectrum bands that are being used in today's communication schemes are getting very congested. This causes severe interference and distortion issues that significantly affect a reliable high speed data transfers. By moving to THz frequency bands, one could use the large amount of unallocated bandwidth to achieve communication speeds up to 100Gbps. Research on THz communication systems is currently focusing on expensive III-V semiconductor technologies, which are well suitable in low quantity but high performance commercial and military applications such as radar guidance or base stations. The proposed research work is targeting an implementation of THz communication systems with very low-cost devices that can be mass-produced by utilizing a Silicon CMOS process. To overcome the system limitations caused by the intrinsic lower power of the CMOS process it requires a joint effort between circuit design, antenna implementation and packaging technology, which has not been undertaken on the same scale as this project aims to do.
Besides the utilisation of the low cost CMOS semiconductor process a key element of our research project is the usage of 3D inkjet printing technology for fast, accurate and low cost fabrication of THz passive and active antennas. The transition from the silicon CMOS chip to the radiating antenna is crucially important for the system performance. On-chip integrated antennas in silicon are not performing very well therefore we propose the utilisation of multi-material 3D inkjet printing of functional materials to simultaneously deposit conductive and dielectric materials for efficient coupling between silicon on-chip signals to free-space radiation. The combination of the 3D-on-CMOS printing technology with 3D printed spatial-power combining array antennas, in order to develop highly-efficient THz beams will lead to an important breakthrough that combines two fairly cheap and high-volume technologies (CMOS and 3D inkjet printing) paving a path to consumer-oriented THz products. The proposed project will demonstrate that low cost consumer THz communication systems are feasible with interdisciplinary cooperation and a research effort where the expertise in several fields is combined.
StatusActive
Effective start/end date1/01/1731/12/19