24, July 2014

PROJECT TITLE: Millimetre and sub-millimetre wave GaAs Schottky diodes, detectors and mixers — M3GAAS

Coordinator: National Institute for Research and Development in Microtechnologies, IMT Bucharest 

Partners: S.C ROM-QUARTZ S.A

Period: December 2013 – September 2016

Project director: Dr Alexandru Muller 

Project team: The project team is composed of PhD, researchers, PhD students, all having a serious background in RF MEMS technologies, microsystems, microwave, microelectronics, physics, material science, etc.

CO- IMT Bucharest has a strong research team in order to accomplish all the project requirements: 13 senior researchers (CS I, CS II, CS III), 4 young researchers, 3 engineer for technology and 8 technicians (technology and electronics); in this tean there are 11 PhD and 2 PhD students. 

P1-ROM-QUARTZ will be involved and will provide expertise for technical assistance in the development and characterization of high-frequency electronic components (GHz), the professional filters used in special telecommunications. P1 team is composed of senior researchers.


The project intends to develop:

  • Schottky diodes with a cut-off frequency higher than 3 THz. These devices will be able to be used in satellite to satellite communications systems (allocated frequencies around 100 GHz) and also at frequencies up to 2.5 THz, frequencies used in radio-astronomy.
  • Direct, video-type receiver modules (detectors) working at a frequency of about 100 GHz will be manufactured and characterized.  The Schottky diode will be integrated monolithically with an antenna designed for this frequency and both will have as support the same thin GaAs membrane .
  • Harmonic mixer circuits monolithically integrated with Schottky  diodes for 100 GHz.

Project objectives: The objectives of this project are to fabricate millimetre and submillimetre wave GaAs Schottky diodes, detectors and mixers using advanced micro and nano-technologies.


WP1 Design and modeling

  • Task T1.1: Specifications (IMT) M1-6
  • Task 1.2 Design of the Schottky diode (IMT) M 1-9
  • Task 1.3 Design and modelling of the direct video type receiver (IMT) M3-12
  • Task 1.4 Design of the harmonic mixer (IMT, RQ) M6-15

WP2 Technology development 

  • Task 2.1 Development of GaAs based technology for the discrete Schttky diode (IMT) M 2-18
  • Task 2.2.  Technological process for integration of the antenna with the Schottky diode (IMT) M6-24
  • Task 2.3.  Technological process for integration of the harmonic mixer with the Schottky diode (IMT)  M 12-30

WP 3-Characterization

  • Task 3.1 Schottky diode individual chips characterization (IMT) M9-20
  • Task 3.2 Direct video type receiver characterization (IMT, RQ) M12-30
  • Task 3.3 Harmonic mixer characterization (IMT, RQ) M15-33

WP4 Demonstrators.

  • Task 4.1 Demonstrator of Schottky diode individual chips (IMT) M24-36 
  • Task 4.2  Direct video type receiver (the detector) demonstrator (IMT) M24-36 
  • Task 4.3 Harmonic mixer demonstrator (IMT, RQ) M24-36 

WP5 Management and disseminations

  • Task 5.1: Project management (IMT) M 1-36 
  • Task 5.2: Implementation of the web site (IMT) M 6-36 
  • Task 5.3: Dissemination and exploitation of the results (IMT, RQ) M6-36 

Contributions to the STAR programme objectives:

State of the art technologies regarding Schottky diodes for millimeter/submillimetre wave and THz applications have been developed in the USA, both at research as well at commercial level. The purchase of such Schottky diodes chips from the USA providers is not an easy task, because of their multiple applications

The development of millimeter/submillimetre wave Schottky diode technology, as well as the technology of monolithic integrated direct receivers and mixers based on Schottky diodes, is an essential objective of ESA, especially to guarantee European independence in terms of future Earth observation, radiometers and other scientific instruments functioning at millimetre and submilllimetre wave frequencies. 

This is the reason why ESA has strongly encouraged the development of high performance Schottky diodes, working in the millimeter /submillimetre wave frequency range, as well as monolithic integrated detectors, mixers and multiplier devices based on Schottky diodes, in European facilities.

Homepage: M3GAAS