About the project
This Industrial PhD studentship is a collaboration between Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton and Analog Devices Inc. in Limerick, Ireland. The research will be in the Sustainable Electronic Technologies Group and you will use fabrication and design tools at the University of Southampton and Analog Devices.
Radio-Frequency Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (RF-MEMS) switch between on and off state, not by controlling the current through the device like a field effect transistor, but by mechanically opening and closing the current path. The RF-MEMS devices are now of such sophistication that they can switch billions of times and are capable of carrying high currents of 1A and electro-magnetic waves at frequencies above 10GHz. The RF performance limitation is surprisingly not solely associated with the device itself but predominantly with the semiconductor Si substrate on which it is fabricated.
At Southampton we have recently developed a Au-doped Si process which enhances small signal performances and lead to better performance in terms of crosstalk and RF losses. Such a low-loss and highly linear substrate is extremely suitable for RF MEMS.
The aim of this project is to enable heterogeneous integration of our high-resistivity substrate with RF MEMS which will enable the resulting system to power the next generation of 6G communications as well as many other applications.