August 27, 2020

New connectors for the high frequency industry

Designing and demonstrating a new generation of high frequency interconnections, this is the main objective of a European research project called TERAMeasure, which is being coordinated by the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) and involves the KTH Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden), the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute for Telecommunications (Germany), Anritsu EMEA (United Kingdom) and Protemics GmbH (Germany).bThis technology is primarily intended for high frequency instrumentation and devices as well as biomedical (subcutaneous skin cancer detection) and silicon industry quality control applications.

“The greatest challenge that scientists are facing is how to reach this frequency range, which sources to use and which connectors to employ, given the serious limitations of current technology. TERAMeasure aims to revolutionize high frequency technology by developing connectors that operate continuously over the entire range from 30 GHz up to 3000 GHz”, explains Guillermo Carpintero, the TERAMeasure coordinator,  professor at the UC3M’s Department of Electronic Technology.

This will be achieved by combining photonic integration and silicon micro-structuring technologies to develop a new range of broadband contactless interconnections. “Being contactless is a fundamental feature of our solution because at high frequencies the size of the connectors is approximately a few hundred microns (similar to the diameter of a hair root), making them very delicate. This feature will protect the connectors from damage as well as enable contact independent of the quality of the physical contact.”

Frequencies in this range have numerous applications, including analysis of tissues and materials. Molecules and compounds exhibit resonances within this range of frequencies, enabling us to identify their presence (using spectroscopy techniques).Within the framework of this project we aim to demonstrate the potential of our contactless interconnections for  analyzing skin, searching for subcutaneous cancer and  monitoring the healing process of  severe burn injuries in collaboration with a group from the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC in its Spanish acronym). Another field of application to be explored within the framework of the project is silicon integrated circuits used in manufacturing quality control with Protemics, a project partner in this field,which benefit from the use of higher resolution images at high frequencies when locating manufacturing faults. 

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