Layer by layer
Future communication and sensor systems will require a constantly growing functionality, combined with an increased integrability and flexibility of the components used, above all in the analog high-frequency front end. Thick layers of barium-strontium titanate (BST), for instance, are suited for the low-cost production of electronically controllable microwave components that can adapt their functionality and characteristics to the respective application. By applying an electric control field to the corresponding capacitors, dielectric properties of this material system can be modified in a quasi power-free manner. Thus, electronically controllable microwave components, such as multi-band antennas adjustable in center frequency and bandwidth, adaptive filters and adaptation networks, electronically phase-controlled group antennas, and chip-free RFID and temperature sensors, are feasible. Scientists from the Institute for Applied Materials (IAM-WPT), in cooperation with TU Darmstadt, have further developed materials for use as controllable microwave dielectrics. They can be adapted to specific requirements of individual applications. The printed ceramic thick layers can be influenced specifically by the use of doped materials and optimized structures. New component designs can be produced flexibly and rapidly by inkjet printing. The BST starting material is produced by a modified sol-gel process. By doping, i.e. introduction of foreign atoms in the material, its properties are optimized for high-frequency technology. Special dopings can reduce dielectric losses of the material or positively affect controllability. Acceptor-donator co-doping has proved to be advantageous, as total performance is increased. The BST powders are processed further to a paste or ink. By screen or inkjet printing and subsequent sintering, BST thick layers of 1 to 10 µm are produced. In the last process step, metallization, the microwave components are manufactured from the thick layers. These components can be applied in wireless communication or sensor technology. KIT looks for cooperation partners for the industrial manufacture of components or users of the technology.
Your contact person for this offer
Innovation Manager Energy Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Innovation and Relations Management (IRM) Phone: +49 721 608-25335