DS0708 -

Demonstrator of polymer passive circuits for THz domain – Terapacipode

Submission summary

The TeraPACIPODE project, led by IEF, is in the field of terahertz electronics. It address preferentially to high speed telecommunications but also to the new emerging fields in THz electronics. In recent years, numerous studies have concerned active components like often sources, usually detectors, and rarely amplifiers based on MMIC below one THz. In parallel, the study of THz passive functions has received less attention and effort. This project aims to carry out passive circuits (waveguides, couplers, power splitters, antennas) on a polymer substrate. Some polymers have interesting properties for THz as a low value of the real part of the dielectric function to significantly reduce radiation losses without increase at the same time, the dielectric losses. The BCB collects both criteria. Another advantage of the polymers is their ability to be deposited over any type of substrate by spin coating and also above integrated circuits. The building blocks selected in this project are also required for the synthesis of more complex systems such as distributed amplifiers or multipliers. A complete passive-active THz demonstrator consisting of a transmission chain in the band 350-400 GHz willbe designed and made from the InP HBT MMIC technology of III-V Lab.

Such amplifier will be at the state-of-the-art of this kind of achievements. It will be connected to the next layer level on BCB where passive functions are realized. This hybridization will be the keystone of the project. Such system is not currently achievable on silicon. The InP HBTs have indeed a greater ratio of operating frequency on fmax than for Si-based devices, and further a more favorable Johnson figure-of-merit. An additional innovation of this work is to structure the polymer substrates to promote slow waves allowing to a highly compactness of the circuits and better quality factors thanks to the skills of the IMEP-LAHC. Attention will be given to micro-vias connecting passive circuits on polymer to the active layers on semiconductor. Many interconnections between different types of guides will be designed, implemented and optimized.

The technology of the clean room facility of IEF will be used for etchings and thin film depositions. Antennas will also be designed and modeled by IETR. They will benefit of the properties of the polymer and the substrate structure in order to maximize the power coupled out while substrate losses are reduced. The high directivity and the broadband of the antennas target point to point links. Quasi optical antenna distributors will be used to optimize power transfer between the amplifier and the antenna. Finally, this project will also be an opportunity to improve the metrology on vector network analyzer in the frequency range 350-500 GHz. The measure of many considered passive devices and the development of calibration and de-embedding patterns on the polymer will permit to increase the knowledge and skills of each partner on the field of submillimeter measurement and particularly IEMN which oversees this topic. A comparative analysis of calibrations on polymer and on alumina in a frequency range where such calibration patterns are still unreliable (i.e. 110 GHz) will be carried out in the project. Beyond 220 GHz, no successful commercial impedance standard substrate currently exists. The monomode waveguides on polymer could become the solution, by avoiding the area wastage of integrated circuit devoted to the realization of calibration patterns.

Project coordination

Frederic Aniel (Université Paris Sud / Centre de Nanosciences et Nanotechnologies)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


UGA-TIMA Université Grenoble Alpes-TIMA
IEMN Institut d'Electronique, de Microélectronique et de Nanotechnologie
IETR Institut d'Electronique et de Télécommunications de Rennes
UPSUD / C2N Université Paris Sud / Centre de Nanosciences et Nanotechnologies

Help of the ANR 715,433 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: March 2017 - 36 Months

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