Wireless, RF & Smart Dust

Research that includes:

  • Tuneable RF components: capacitors, inductors, transformers
  • RF microrelays
  • High frequency MEMS resonators: devices, structures, and processes

BPN392: Mobile Airborne Particulate Matter Monitor for Cellular Deployment

Troy Cados
Omid Mahdavipour

This project involves optimization of a portable MEMS-based instrument that quantifies and speciates fine airborne particulate matter concentrations of such substances as diesel engine exhaust, environmental tobacco smoke, and wood smoke. The goal of the project is integration with and interfacing of the instrument to a cellular telephone for mobile monitoring.

Project end date: 05/10/16

BPN540: Temperature-Stable Micromechanical Resonators and Filters

Alper Ozgurluk

This project aims to suppress temperature-induced frequency shift in high frequency micromechanical resonators targeted for channel-select filter and oscillator applications. A novel electrical stiffness design technique is utilized to compensate for thermal drift, in which a temperature-dependent electrical stiffness counteracts the resonator’s intrinsic dependence on temperature caused mainly by Young’s modulus temperature dependence.

Project end date: 08/14/17

BPN854: Wearable Ultrasound System for Chronic Neural Recording

Joshua E. Kay

Chronic monitoring of nerve activity with minimally invasive medical devices creates broad opportunities from therapeutic treatments to human augmentation. These closed-looped neural recording and modulation systems require small, low power wearable devices to enable freely moving subjects while still allowing real- time processing of recorded data. An ultrasonic backscatter system called Neural Dust (ND) demonstrated ultrasound's increased power efficiency over electromagnetic (EM) energy for sub-mm scale implantable devices used for wireless electrophysiological neural recording....

BPN701: Bridged Micromechanical Filters

Jalal Naghsh Nilchi

The overall project aims to explore the use of bridging between non-adjacent resonators to generate loss poles in the filter response toward better filter shape factor, sharper passband- to-stopband roll-off and better stopband rejection.

Project end date: 12/15/17

BPN897: High Frequency Oscillator Characterization

Alain Anton

This project aims to study and understand fundamental mechanisms that govern phase noise, aging, thermal stability, and acceleration stability in high frequency micromechanical resonator oscillators.

Project end date: 01/29/18

BPN900: Wireless neural sensors: Robust ultrasonic backscatter communication in the brain

David K. Piech

Brain-machine interfaces provide an artificial conduit to send information to and from the brain, and modulate activity in the brain. These systems have shown great promise in clinical, scientific, and human-computer interaction contexts, but the low reward/risk ratio of today’s invasive neural interfaces has limited their use to an extremely niche clinical patient population. It has been shown that ultrasonic backscatter communication can enable the sensing and stimulation of neural activity with extremely small wireless implants, which can both improve performance and reduce risk....

BPN744: Self-Destructing Silicon

Joseph Greenspun
Osama Khan
Travis Massey
Brad Wheeler
Ryan Shih

Funded under the DARPA Vanishing Programmable Resources (VaPR) program, this project explores the fundamental issues associated with making wireless sensor nodes disappear after achieving an objective. The MEMS Hammer is a micromachined device capable of storing mechanical energy and delivering that energy to a target. It has been used to fracture other microfabricated structures made of silicon and silicon dioxide. The MEMS Hammer is capable of storing a wide range of energies with the upper limit exceeding 10uJ. These devices have been characterized to determine the tradeoffs among...

BPN861: Fully Integrated MEMS-Based Super-Regenerative Transceiver

Gleb Melnikov

This project aims to integrate our previously demonstrated MEMS-Based Super-Regenerative Transceiver in a fully integrated CMOS- MEMS fabrication process.

Project end date: 01/29/18

BPN840: W-Band Additive Vacuum Electronics

Ilbey Karakurt

Radio frequency (RF) devices for high frequency applications such as satellite communication and mobile and ground uplinks have brought about the demand for higher power handling capabilities and increased efficiency in these devices. Technologies for creating low cost, advanced millimeter wave electronics devices without sacrificing quality or performance has thus grown. Direct metal additive manufacturing techniques, such as electron beam melting, has been projected to be capable of fabricating such devices. Key concerns regarding these techniques are the requirements for high...

BPN864: Micromechanical Resonator Waveform Synthesizer

Thanh-Phong Nguyen

This project aims to demonstrate a waveform synthesizer using multiple micromechanical resonator oscillators with outputs combined to use ultimately in a super-regenerative receiver.

Project end date: 01/24/19