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How to make microwaves on a chip to replace X-rays for medical imaging and security
Date:5/29/2008

of tiny coils of wire with each intersection grounded through a capacitor. An electrical wave moves across the lattice by alternately filling each inductor then discharging the current into the adjacent capacitor. A capacitor temporarily stores and releases electrons, and these capacitors, made of layers of silicon and silicon dioxide, are designed to vary their storage capacity as the voltage of the signal changes, creating the equivalent of the varying depths of an ocean beach and distorting the timing of the electrical signals that pass by.

When low-frequency, low-power signals are applied simultaneously to both the vertical and horizontal wires of the lattice, the waves they produce interfere as they meet across the lattice, combining many small waves into one large peak. The process produces harmonic signals at multiples of the original frequency, and a high-power, high-frequency signal can be read out somewhere in the middle of the lattice.

According to computer simulations by Afshari and Bhat, the process can be implemented on a common complimentary metal-oxide silicon (CMOS) chip to generate signals at frequencies well above the ordinary cutoff frequencies of such chips, with at least 10 times the input power. Frequencies up to around 1.16 THz are possible, the researchers predict.


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Contact: Blaine Friedlander
bpf2@cornell.edu
607-254-8093
Cornell University Communications
Source:Eurekalert

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