/3D Antenna Arrays for Sub-Terahertz Sensing and Communication using Metallic and Dielectric Manufacturing Approaches

3D Antenna Arrays for Sub-Terahertz Sensing and Communication using Metallic and Dielectric Manufacturing Approaches

PhD - Leuven | More than two weeks ago

Taking the forefront in sub-terahertz multi-antenna systems by leveraging 3D technologies

Energy efficiency becomes critical when next-generation radar and wireless communication systems move to operating frequencies above 100 GHz, especially since generating sufficient transmit power and achieving reasonable noise figure in receivers remains particularly challenging for transceivers active in these frequency bands. This motivates the need for a drastically novel approach to realize highly efficient sub-terahertz arrays supporting highly directional pencil beams.


This PhD approaches future wireless systems in a holistic way, focusing on (1) innovative low-loss waveguide components to efficiently distribute broadband sub-THz signals to a large number of antennas and (2) a novel class of highly efficient three-dimensional antenna elements. First, conventional planar PCB-based transmission lines comprising the feed network of current-generation antenna arrays will be replaced by lower-loss transmission lines, such as dielectric-filled or air-filled waveguides. Different manufacturing approaches for such components, such as next-generation multi-layer PCB stacks with dedicated air-filled layers, metal milling, silicon micromachining and/or injection molding will be investigated. Special attention will be devoted to ensuring low-loss interconnections to active electronics. Next, a wide range of 3D radiating elements, enabled by recent developments in additive manufacturing technology and innovations in 3D-printing materials, will be investigated. A special emphasis will be put on low-loss dielectric materials for dielectric-resonator and lens-based antennas for operation in the 140 GHz and 300 GHz bands.  


You will closely collaborate with partner companies to fabricate your designs, after which they can be integrated into IMEC designs to make a fully functional system. Moreover, you will be trained to use our state-of-the-art measurement facilities, capable of performing Vector Network Analyzer, antenna and system measurements, which is essential to fully characterize your designs. 


You will become part of both IMEC Leuven and Ghent University, sharing your time between both institutions. At IMEC Leuven, you will be part of the Advanced-RF department and will interact with both technology and design experts with many years of experience. At the Ghent University, you will join the IDLab Electromagnetics research group and interact with other PhD researchers as well as your supervising professor. Your work will leverage the fundamental principles of electromagnetics to accelerate additive manufacturing technology towards the development of three-dimensional 140 and 300 GHz antenna arrays.


Required background: Electrical Engineering

Type of work: 60% modeling/simulation, 30% experimental, 10% literature

Supervisor: Sam Lemey

Daily advisor: Siddhartha Sinha

The reference code for this position is 2023-138. Mention this reference code on your application form.

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