Project abstract

The ultimate goal of this project is to design, fabricate and characterize (structurally and functionally) a “one pixel” millimeter-wave imaging sensor. In order to fulfill this goal, two technological approaches will be implemented: high-resistivity silicon micromachining and substrate integrated waveguide technology. The proposed topology consists of a modified millimeter wave direct conversion receiver. It is based on a high-gain antenna or antenna array connected to a diode detector, with a possible additional LNA to improve the sensitivity. In the silicon micromachining case the antenna will be supported on a thin dielectric membrane. In the second case, a 2x2 slot antenna array will be used. Both approaches will be investigated for imaging applications in the millimeter wave ranges, using computer simulations and test structures measurements. It is estimated that for the 35 GHz frequency range the SIW approach will provide the best results, while for the 94 GHz and 140 GHz the membrane supported antennas will be the solution. The size, cost, weight, frequency and sensitivity of the developed sensor will be adapted for the specific application areas. The project will have a significant impact in applications such as security screening for detection of concealed objects, passive millimeter-wave imagers for aircraft systems and in the medical field (tumor recognition and especially for skin cancer, disease diagnosis).