The Microwave Technology Branch carries out research and exploratory development on RF materials, devices, components and circuits in the frequency range of 2 GHz to approximately 150 GHz.
The current research emphasis is on novel device and circuit configurations for improved high frequency, high power and/or low noise performance.and improved reliability. The focus of the exploratory development program is on advanced device and circuit prototypes for system insertion five to ten years in the future and on the reliability and radiation hardness of these devices. The basic research program advances the understanding of fundamental physical mechanisms which limit ultimate device performance and includes physics of failure and processing science.
Current device research topics include:
- GaAs and InP-based heterostructures, refractory semiconductor technology, i.e. SiC, AlN and GaN; monolithic III-V circuits
- High temperature superconducting technology especially for filters, resonators and delay lines
- Nanometric devices
- Ferromagnetic and ferroelectric microwave control components
All aspects of device design and development are addressed including:
- The science of material deposition, ion-implantation and growth surface interface analysis
- Physics-based and circuit-based modelling, contact and processing technology, testing, reliability and radiation hardness
The Branch maintains two III-V compound semiconductor MBE capabilities and an ion-implantation facility. They provide epitaxial layers in order to meet overall Division requirements for novel semiconductor structures.
The Branch also conducts a number of reliability and radiation effects investigations on devices and circuits of DoD interest and maintains a failure physics facility in order to accomplish these studies. Facilities also exist for automatic test and evaluation of superconductors and semiconductor structures at cryogenic temperatures.