Spintronic Microwave Oscillators for Wireless Communications
Dr Zhou, Yan (Project coordinator)
Dr Ruotolo Antonio (Co-Investigator)
Spintronic Microwave Oscillators, Wireless Communications
Others - Physical Sciences
HKU Project Code
Innovation and Technology Fund Internship Programme
Microwave oscillators in vehicle radar systems for collision avoidance systems will enhance the safety of drivers in Hong Kong and worldwide. The accuracy of automotive radar systems depends on several factors, one being how wide and fast the source can be modulated. Spintronic microwave oscillators are extremely broad band, can be modulated at unprecedented speeds, will be much cheaper than existing devices, allowing for many units on the same vehicle, and are hence expected to have a significant long-term impact on the safety of drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. We focus on the spintronic nanooscillator within this project, which are: i) nanoscopic, requiring only the same vanishingly small chip area as a single transistor, ii) do not require any inductor for signal generation, iii) have intrinsic filtering properties which can be engineered using spin waves, which further reduces the number of on-chip coil, iv) have been demonstrated to generate frequencies up to 65 GHz with theoretical estimates well beyond 200 GHz, and V) are much cost-effective than GaAs and SiGe technologies and Yttrium-iron-garnet (YIG) oscillators. Spintronic devices exhibit more functionality than CMOS, which reduces both system complexity and power consumption. Since a large fraction of electricity is produced through burning of coal and gas, research on energy efficient microwave devices has the potential to reduce CO2 emissions and limit global warming. Using a broadband spintronic oscillators with fast modulation and band hopping properties, will allow for serving many radio standards at the same time, which reduces the raw material consumption in handheld devices and prolongs battery life, minimizing the need for expensive and environmentally unfriendly battery materials.