Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Project to Advance Radar, Communications Systems

24.06.2008
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is providing $1.4 million to a Phase III research project led by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory to develop high-performance integrated diamond microelectro-mechanical system (MEMS) and complementary metal-oxide-semiconductors devices (CMOS) for radar and mobile communications using an Argonne developed and patented Ultrananocrystalline Diamond (UNCDTM) film technology.

Argonne's program partners are Advanced Diamond Technologies, Inc. (ADT), Innovative Micro Technology (IMT), MEMtronics Corp., Peregrine Semiconductor the University of Pennsylvania and Leigh University.

The project's principal investigator and project manager is Derrick Mancini, associate division director for facilities and technology at the Center for Nanoscale Materials (CNM) at Argonne. The project's technical leader is Orlando Auciello, a senior scientist in Argonne's Materials Science Division and the CNM.

DARPA, a U.S. Department of Defense organization that supports high-risk, transformational research, is interested in the development of advanced phased-array radar and communication systems for military and commercial applications. The integration of capacitive radio frequency (RF) MEMS and CMOS devices will enable rapid electronic steering of radar beams to substantially improve radar speed and precision. Monolithic RF MEMS/CMOS device integration will also greatly improve the multifunction performance of state-of-the-art wireless devices.

RF MEMS devices like resonators (tiny diving board-like structures at very high frequencies) and switches (tiny membranes that establish or disconnect electrical pathways) may substantially improve the functionality and performance of RF and microwave systems.

"The UNCD film technology has the potential to improve the reliability of MEMS switches because of unique combination of properties such as resistance to adhesion between two surfaces in physical contact that can lead to premature switch failure, and because of demonstrated tunability of dielectric properties and leakage current" Auciello said. "In addition, UNCD films exhibit the highest Young's modulus – the measure of a material's stiffness under stress – of any material being investigate for MEMS resonators, and is currently the only technology that can produce diamond films at temperatures less than or equal to 400 degrees Celsius. Both characteristics provide critical parameters for producing resonators for very high frequency operations and the integration of diamond MEMS with advanced microelectronics, respectively."

In the DARPA Phase II program, the Argonne-led team achieved several key goals:

• materials integration and processes to fabricate UNCD-based resonators;

• integration of UNCD films with CMOS devices;

• demonstration of UNCD dielectric properties suitable for application as low-charge/low-force of adhesion dielectric layer for RF capacitive MEMS switches;

• and demonstration of UNDC-dielectric-based RF MEMS switches that surpassed one-billion switching cycles with low (approximately 0.17-decibel) insertion losses at about 10 gigahertz.

Argonne is the world leader in the fundamental and applied science of UNCD film technology and works jointly with academia and industry to develop new UNCD-based MEMS and other hybrid technologies, including the integration of oxide piezoelectric and UNCD films that produced the lowest power piezoelectrically-actuated UNCD resonators and nanoswitches demonstrated today. The CNM currently has the world's only microwave plasma chemical vapor deposition system for growing UNCD films at less or equal to 400 degrees Celsius on up to 200-millimeter wafers, located in a clean room environment for nanoelectro-mechanical systems fabrication. The CNM provides the main expertise and infrastructure at Argonne critical for the success of the DARPA Phase III program. UNCD is prized for its exceptionally small grain size of 5 nanometers, which is thousands of times smaller than grains in traditional microcrystalline diamond films.

Argonne's five research partners each bring specific interdisciplinary expertise and capabilities that are critical to the success of the DARPA Phase III program.

• Advanced Diamond Technologies, a Romeoville, Ill.-based Argonne spin off company that commercializes UNCD, is the world leader in the development and application of diamond films for industrial, electronic and medical applications. ADT provides diamond film and materials integration solutions to a variety of industry participants in diverse application areas. ADT has developed a low-temperature process for producing UNCD films, and a number of wafer-scale products suitable for integration of UNCD with other materials for MEMS applications, including diamond-on-silicon and diamond-on-insulator wafers up to 200 millimeters in size with unprecedented property uniformity.

• Innovative Micro Technology manufactures MEMS devices and its overriding goal is to partner with companies to develop products based on MEMS technology. IMT has the largest and best-equipped MEMS foundry facility in the world providing full services from MEMS design to high-volume manufacturing of MEMS devices, including drug delivery, biomedical implants, microfluidics, inertial navigation, sensors, telephone/digital subscriber line switching, and RF devices (critical to the DARPA Phase III), among many other devices. IMT will fabricate the RE MEMS switches for the DARPA Phase III program.

• MEMtronics, of Plano, Texas is a privately-held company focused on the development and maturation of RF MEMS switching technology. This technology is being incorporated into phase shifter and tunable filter products targeted at a variety of military and commercial wireless and radar applications. MEMtronics has designed and demonstrated some of the most advanced RF MEMS switches to date— a critical component

• Peregrine Semiconductor is a global leader of high-performance RF CMOS devices. Peregrine’s patented UltraCMOS™ process technology — enabled by silicon on sapphire substrates — drives unprecedented levels of monolithic integration throughout a broad portfolio of mixed-signal RF ICs. The UltraCMOS process technology will drive the UNCD-based RF MEMS switches designed by MEMtronics and fabricated by IMT, in the Phase III program.

• University of Pennsylvania Professor Robert W. Carpick leads a group that is conducting world-class research on tribology and mechanical properties of materials using novel atomic force microscopy and surface science tools. The university group will provide unique expertise and tools to characterize the tribological and mechanical performance of UNCD-based MEMS.

Argonne National Laboratory brings the world's brightest scientists and engineers together to find exciting and creative new solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation's first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America's scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science.

Angela Hardin | newswise
Further information:
http://www.anl.gov

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht The TU Ilmenau develops tomorrow’s chip technology today
27.04.2017 | Technische Universität Ilmenau

nachricht Five developments for improved data exploitation
19.04.2017 | Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH, DFKI

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>