By Gary Thomas
Scientists at the Boeing and General Motors owned corporate research-and-development laboratory, HRL Laboratories, have developed the first millimeter wave detector employing graphene-based transistor technology.
Graphene based detectors show mm-wave detection
The square law millimeter detector has a linear dynamic range exceeding 60 dB, which is by far the highest bandwidth to be measured in semiconductor detectors. The new device is touted as a revolutionary development in electronics that could open up avenues for high-bandwidth radar, imaging and communication systems. The graphene field-effect-transistor (FET)-based detectors were found to surpass performance of SiGe bipolar or CMOS-based detectors in the linear dynamic range by 30 dB.
The development of the device is an important accomplishment for the Carbon Electronics for RF Applications program (CERA) that is managed by the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center and funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The goal of the CERA program is to leverage the unique characteristics of graphene in high-frequency electronics.
HRL commenced work on the CERA program in 2008 and is working in conjunction with the Naval Research Laboratory and teams from few universities. Their first achievement was the development of graphene-based radio frequency transistors. The new development holds promise for graphene transistors in RF applications.
HRL Laboratories is a corporate research-and-development laboratory specializing in research into microelectronics, applied electromagnetic, information and systems sciences, and sensors and materials. HRL also provides research and development contract services for the US government, its LLC member companies and other commercial firms.