Project status: finished

Project presentation

The overall aim of the project is to enable the traceable measurement and electrical characterisation of integrated planar circuits and components from radio-frequency (RF) to sub-mm frequencies. This will allow the industry to characterise components and devices for eventual use in high-speed and microwave applications (e.g. wireless communications, automotive radar and medical sensing) with known measurement uncertainties.

High-frequency on-wafer science, engineering and metrology are underpinning technologies for almost all applications that employ micro- and nano-electronics. Integrated circuits operated in the microwave and mm wave frequency range are in widespread use, in applications ranging from mobile communications to sensors. The ubiquitous presence of wireless data transmission that we are used to would not be possible without them. However, the ever-increasing demands for higher data rates, the growing number of services to be covered, and the development of high-resolution (radar) imaging have been continuously pushing up the frequency of operation. 60 GHz short-range high-data rate communications and automotive radar at 77 GHz are examples of important applications beyond 50 GHz which are now being deployed. Beyond this, various applications for imaging, material testing, and ultra-broadband wireless links are envisaged above 100 GHz. These needs will be intensified by the Internet of Things (IoT) initiative of the EC, which strongly relies on wireless networks and wireless sensor functions.

The specific scientific and technical objectives of the project are to:
  • Establish traceability of planar scattering parameter measurements on reference calibration substrates.
  • Transfer uncertainties to calibration standards in conventional technology to be used in industry.
  • Improve planar transmission lines models accounting for surface roughness and radiation losses.
  • Develop calibration substrates and algorithms for planar scattering parameter measurements up to at least 325 GHz.
  • Develop suitable calibration standards and methods for measurements of RF nano-devices.
  • Develop best measurement practice guidelines, which will serve the entire on-wafer measurement community.
  • Engage with manufacturers of planar microwave circuits and components to facilitate the take up of the technology and measurement infrastructure developed by the project.


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