PhD - Leuven | More than two weeks ago
Waferscale Si-interposer technology is a well-established interconnect solution for digital systems such as microprocessors, high bandwidth memory and chip-to-chip communication. With the next-generation of wireless communication and radar systems moving to beyond 100 GHz, there is tremendous interest to explore whether the solutions developed for digital systems can be leveraged to realize (sub-)terahertz systems.
At such high frequencies, the power gain of electronic components is low, while traditional antenna and RF interconnect solutions based on PCBs incur excessively high loss and leakage of signal. Therefore, a holistic system-oriented approach that combines miniaturized semiconductor fabrication with innovative antenna design is essential to pave the way for next-generation multi-antenna solutions, reconciling highly efficient operation with mass manufacturability.
In this PhD, you will explore planar antenna arrays at both the 140 GHz and 300 GHz bands. IMEC has developed a heterogeneous integration platform based on Si-interposer technology on which various RF components and ICs can be integrated. Your task will be to combine high-frequency low-loss antenna substrates with the RF optimized Si-interposer. Several challenges, such as low-loss broadband antenna-to-IC interconnects, compact and high bandwidth antenna elements, dual polarization support, and scalability to larger arrays will be explored. During your PhD, you will also need to carry out an in-depth literature review to keep yourself updated with the most recent developments, to spot opportunities that arise, and to benchmark your own work.
You will also have access to IMEC’s world class R&D fab to realize your designs as well as tweak the underlying technology parameters. This is a unique opportunity, typically not available to antenna researchers at university departments not having access to advanced semiconductor fabs. 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 be 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 get to interact with both technology and design experts with many years of experience. At 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 unleash the full potential of advanced semiconductor technology for the development of 140 GHz 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 2023-137. Mention this reference code on your application form.