German Research Foundation (DFG)

Mobile material characterization and location by electromagnetic scanning (MARIE)

Special research fields - Transregio 196

Support Code: TRR 196/1 2017

Project Initiator:

  • Universitat Duisburg-Essen (UDE), Faculty of Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Information Technology Department
  • Ruhr-Universitat Bochum (RUB), Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Sciences
  • Bergische Universitat Wuppertal (BUW), School of Electrical, Information and Media Engineering
  • Technische Universitat Darmstadt (TUD), Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology
  • Fraunhofer lnstitut tor Hochfrequenzphysik und Radartechnik (FHR), Wachtberg
  • Fraunhofer lnstitut tor Mikroelektronische Schaltungen und Systeme (IMS), Duisburg

Project Objectives:

This project aims to explore compact, ultra-broadband transceiver front-ends in silicon technology for multi-color imaging and broadband CW spectroscopy. Today’s spectroscopy systems in the terahertz frequency range are usually based upon optoelectronic components. Although these systems naturally offer high bandwidth, they are bulky and thus lack the portability to be used in future mobile spectroscopes. In contrast, silicon-based semiconductor technology offers low-cost potential and unmatched compactness, but it is severely limited in operational frequency and bandwidth. This project will challenge these limitations by means of a novel conceptual approach to silicon-based terahertz front-end design. Along these lines, a coherent multi-color imaging concept is proposed. It utilizes tunable broadband transmitter and receiver circuits that operate at several harmonics at the same time. In analogy to the terminology for visible light, these harmonics can be mapped to different colors. Each of these colors contains spectroscopic information about the interfering materials. Within this project, we aim to push the operational bandwidth of the multi-color system to 0.15-1.5 THz in order to ultimately enable gap-less extraction of the spectroscopic information in a decade of bandwidth. Additionally, the front-ends are anticipated to provide adjustable polarization sensitivity for measurements of depolarization effects. The central long-term research question within this project is whether the necessary breakthroughs can be achieved to enable full coverage of the 0.15-1.5 THz band with a high imaging signal-to-noise-ratio (SNR) concurrently. In order to answer that question, several advanced circuit techniques will be investigated based on state-of-the-art SiGe-HBT technology.


Project duration:
Jan 2017 - Dec 2024

German Research Foundation (DFG)

THz spectroscopy, reflection fingerprint, transmission mode spectroscopy in laboratory environments

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