Smart Antenna Systems and Reconfigurable Radios based on Functional Materials

14 Dec

Holger Maune, Head of the Tunable Microwave Devices Group at Institute for Microwave Engineering and Photonics, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany

External Presentation (External Speaker)

There is a considerable demand for reconfigurable/tunable and compact devices in the Radio Frequency (RF) frontend modules as well as in the antenna systems in modern and future wireless systems for broadcast, communications, radar and imaging, either for frequency tuning and adaptive power matching as well as for polarization tuning and electronic beam steering.

These smart hardware functionalities require adaptive filters and matching networks, frequency agile multiband antennas as well as polarization agile and beam steering antennas. Because of this demand on reconfigurable hardware solutions, since about two decades, researchers around the world are searching for proper enabling technologies, making these devices compact and reconfigurable or tunable with high performance and at low cost. Reconfigurable components can be realized in different technologies. Semiconductors including MMIC and varactor diodes are the most often used and a well-established industrial technology e.g. for phase shifters in steerable antenna systems. Besides that, in many applications where a high-power capability is required, reconfigurable ferrite components are preferred. However, both technologies either rely on expensive process steps or need comprehensive system integration efforts. In the last two decades, alternative technologies have been investigated to overcome the aforementioned limitations. The most prominent are micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS), ferroelectrics and liquid crystals. This presentation will give an overview on the realization of reconfigurable RF frontends and radios based on functional materials.

About Holger Maune

Holger Maune is Head of the Tunable Microwave Devices Group at Institute for Microwave Engineering and Photonics, Technische Universität Darmstadt. He received the Dipl.-Ing. and Dr.-Ing. degree in communications engineering from the Technische Universität Darmstadt, Darmstadt, Germany, in 2006 and 2011 respectively. His research focuses on reconfigurable smart Radio Frequency (RF) systems based on electronically tunable microwave components such as phase shifters, adaptive matching networks, tunable filters, duplexer, and multiband antennas. Their integration into system components such as adaptively matched power amplifiers, reconfigurable RF frontends or fully integrated electronically beam-steering transceiver antenna arrays is in the focus of the work. The tunable microwave components are based on novel approaches and innovative functional materials and technologies such as ferroelectric (BST) thin- and thick films and microwave liquid crystals (LC). Beyond novel concepts and design, a major interest is on modelling and precise high-frequency characterization, e.g. by means of scattering parameter measurements in dependence of frequency, temperature and static field strengths. Moreover, dedicated functional tests such as intermodulation and harmonic distortion are of major interest.

This event will be conducted in English


  • Location: Sala 1.1/2 IMDEA Networks Institute, Avda. del Mar Mediterráneo 22, 28918 Leganés – Madrid

  • Organization: NETCOM Research Group (Telematics Engineering Department, UC3M); IMDEA Networks Institute
  • Time: 15:00 pm