Broadband Schottky Diode Components for Millimeter-Wave Instrumentation

  • Colin Viegas

Student thesis: Phd


Terahertz source technology has been an active area of research for a number of years. This has helped develop continuous wave solid-state sources that are highly desirable in a wide range of applications spanning from Earth science to medical science. However, even with advances in terahertz technology, the generation of fundamental source power at these frequencies is still challenging. Promising electronic solid-state devices fall short in overcoming source power shortage due to electronic breakdown mechanism and fabrication limits at terahertz frequencies. The fundamental physical limitation of photonic devices, such as low photon energy, force cryogenic operation which at times is impractical.Schottky diode frequency multipliers often offer a very practical solution for generating continuous wave radiation based on solid-state technology. This harmonic source technology is today a most certain candidate for many applications where compactness and room temperature operation is desired. However, despite of all the advances in Schottky diode fabrication and their use in frequency multiplication, output power falls rapidly with increasing frequency. Thermal constrains, fabrication limits, assembly errors and parasitic losses all constitute changes that affect the performance of these devices and make it difficult to reproduce experimental data. To overcome these problems and progress towards the generation of milliwatts of power at terahertz frequencies, the study of existing methods to generate and handle high power is necessary. In the first part of the thesis, the design, fabrication and development of two Schottky diode-based frequency doublers is discussed. The work focuses on the generation of high-power sources that are capable of handling higher input powers while maintaining good thermal efficiencies. A detailed study into the machining tolerances, assembly errors and temperature effects are evaluated for the frequency doublers. High frequency effect such as velocity saturation is also addressed. Depending on the design frequency and power handling, two different circuit configurations are employed for the frequency doublers. While the high-power 80/160 GHz frequency doubler used a discrete flip-chip diode configuration, the 160/320 GHz frequency doubler employed an integrated diode membrane to mitigate sensitivity issues encountered during assembly and enable correlation between simulated and measured data. The second part proposes the use of millimeter-wave Schottky diode-based radiometers for imaging of composites samples. The focus of this experiment is the introduction of an alternate EM inspection method with the use of broadband Schottky diode components. This technique combines two different fields {--} non-destructive testing and radiometry, which presents a potentially new and interesting area for research. Since no single method can qualify to be the most accurate for all inspections, and with the future integration bringing down manufacturing costs of high frequency components, this demonstration presents a new approach to consider for future material imaging and evaluation experiments.
Date of Award1 Aug 2017
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorRobin Sloan (Supervisor) & Christopher Duff (Supervisor)


  • Non-destructive Testing
  • Radiometer
  • Millimeter-Wave
  • Broadband
  • Schottky Diode
  • Frequency Multiplier

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