Project C02 - Resonant Tunneling Diode Oscillators with On-Chip Antenna

Principal Investigator: Dr. Werner Prost, UDE HLT

The vision of this project is to control the phase, the phase-relation, and the frequency of arrays of oscillators with adapted on-chip antennas. In the first term we will start with a phase-controlled fundamental mode oscillator at f0 = 320 GHz. The long-term goal is an array of phase-controlled fundamental mode oscillators at f0 > 1 THz for advanced functionalities such as beam steering. The challenge is the development of a compact array of oscillator circuits operating at a locked frequency with controllable phase conditions enabling advanced operations. The approach is based on resonant tunnelling diodes on an InP substrate. These diodes offer in an ultra-wide frequency range a huge negative-differential resistance that is ideally suited to de-attenuate resonators. THz emission at sufficient power up to the mW range requires very high current densities at minimum capacitive load. Resonant tunnelling diode based injection locked oscillators co-integrated with on-chip antennas will be developed and fabricated. The design of the on-chip antenna and the electromagnetic modelling of the emission and the injection locking will be carried out in close cooperation with the project C05. The final approach consists of a frequency modulated oscillator developed in C01 and C03 and fabricated by a Si/SiGe fab (ihp, Frankfurt/Oder). The Si platform shall emit the sub-harmonic injection signal 1/N ∙ f0 ≈ 80 GHz via a patch antenna. The fundamental mode resonant tunnelling diode oscillator will be fabricated on an InP substrate and wafer-bonded to the Si-platform. The resonant tunnelling diode oscillator shall receive the injection locking signal via electromagnetic coupling. The control of the phase relation of the locked individual oscillators within the array is the main goal of this project. It shall enable a one- and/or a two-dimensional beam steering and emission control for advanced functionalities at THz frequencies such as phased-array emission, and MIMO signal processing.

Within the MARIE research initiative this project is responsible for the monolithically integrated, chip-size electronic generation of fundamental mode sub-mm waves at high power efficiency. This project shall contribute to the future mobile usage of advanced oscillator functionalities at THz frequencies.

The control of the frequency and the phase of an array of injection locked fundamental mode oscillators will provide energy-efficient, chip-size THz sources for advanced functions like beam steering. C02 substantially contributes to the MARIE Challenge 2 to compactly realize sub-mm-wave transceivers for efficient mobile material exploration.