DS0708 -

Microwave Ultra-Fast Reconfigurable Electronic Devices – MUFRED

Submission summary

New-generation communication / security / surveillance / sensing systems for civilian, defense space or airborne applications require real-time ultra-fast self-reconfigurable devices to efficiently optimize their performances (data rate, quality of service, resolution). In this field, the MUFRED project aims at demonstrating the ideal capabilities of the Metal Insulator phase Transition (MIT) materials such as vanadium dioxide (VO2) for the fabrication of new electronic ultra-fast microwave components taking benefit of the electrical or optical activation of the transition. MUFRED aims to develop well-controlled thin films and evaluate particularly the performances of such optically-controlled electronic devices through attainable and measurable objectives.
The main objectives of MUFRED are:
1/ better understand the physical properties of semiconducting, intermediate and metallic states (electronic conductivity and mobility), and the role of structures/microstructures on the transition (dynamic, width, temperature).
2/ integrate this material with new or existing planar lines technologies for manufacturing electrically or optically controlled switches and associated devices.
3/ get full control of the electronic transition by photonic absorption and/or electronic injection of charge carriers in order to reach shorter switching time (0.1-100 ns), understand the main relaxation mechanisms using THz pump probe spectroscopy,
4/ exploit the unique properties of VO2 for demonstrating relevant pioneer proofs-of-concepts, namely ultra-fast reconfigurable microwave devices (switches, filters, phasedantennas), and exploring advanced concept of such devices.
Particularly, three reference devices have been selected to demonstrate the potential applications of VO2 and so far MIT materials. The first one is ultra-fast RF switch in a coplanar structure with low insertion losses (<0.2 dB), high isolation (<-30dB) and switching times (ST) lower than 100 ns. Reducing the ST, optical commands will be investigated, based on both a 6THz phonon/electron interaction and/or a high optical absorption due to specific doped materials.
Such RF switches will be used as building blocks and integrated in reconfigurable circuits and phase array antennas. Finally the knowledge in terms of materials, properties and devices and their correlations will be exploited to develop a more complex optically-controlled reflectarray antenna with ultra-fast beam reconfiguration constituting a first demonstrator.
Six partners (5 academic, 1 industrial) are involved in MUFRED project, which is organized in 7 work-packages from material deposition and MIT understanding development to the fabrication of ultra-fast reconfigurable devices. WP1 deals with the management of the MUFRED and the result exploitation. 2D growth of VO2 thin films will be controlled by both PLD and MOCVD on TiO2 and Al2O3 substrates. Elaboration of sub-layers and/or of doping will be investigated in particular on Si substrate (WP2). In both states and during the transition, suitable material characterizations will be carried out to understand the mechanisms involved in particular the crucial role played by electronic rearrangement and vibrational modes of the atomic structure (WP3). Time–resolved spectroscopies studies will be performed to provide a specific understanding of the optically induced MIT mechanisms (WP4). After developments and validations of the specific thin film technological steps, a RF-switch based-VO2 first demonstrator will be presented as an ideal building block for ultra-fast optically/electrically RF switches (WP5). More advanced optically-controlled proof-of-concepts will be demonstrated like filters, phase shifters and phased arrays antenna (WP6) and the final demonstrator will be the first optically-reconfigurable reflectarray antenna (WP7).

Project coordination

Frédéric DUMAS-BOUCHIAT (Science des Procédés Céramiques et de Traitements de Surface)

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.


SPCTS Science des Procédés Céramiques et de Traitements de Surface
TRT Thales Research & Technology
IETR Institut d'Electronique et de Telecommunications de Rennes
LMGP Laboratoire des matériaux et du génie physique
Xlim Xlim UMR 7252 CNRS/ Université de Limoges

Help of the ANR 662,476 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: November 2016 - 42 Months

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