Columbia University

Technology Ventures

Graphene based radio frequency receiver for high-quality wireless communications

Technology #cu14172

Radio frequency transceivers are indispensible to modern wireless communication and research. Current radio frequency transceivers are limited in their ability to maximize their quality factor, selectivity, and signal-to-noise ratio on complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) chips without large, complex, and costly low-pass filters. This technology is a nanoelectromechanical system receiver that allows for high flexibility and selectivity for a desired radio frequency. By using graphene, this technology produces large electromechanical coupling and electrostatic tuning, significantly raising the quality factor at room temperature, while retaining a small, on-chip architecture. The combined result is a superior radio frequency receiver. Adequate development of this technology could help generate powerful, high-quality transceivers capable of being integrated seamlessly into increasingly smaller devices.

A highly tunable, on-chip radio frequency receiver that reduces cost, area, and power consumption while improving sensitivity

By integrating high tensile strength, low mass, low bending modulus graphene as a resonator into a mixer-first radio receiver, this technology is able to achieve an appreciable tuning range, while the facile transduction of graphene resonators allows for gains in resonance over 20 dB. Furthermore, graphene is easy to integrate with existing microfabrication processes, making these benefits possible with minimal cost and optimization requirements.

This technology has progressed to producing CMOS chips with supporting circuits for graphene resonators. S11 matching simulations demonstrate high S21 with the ability to achieve ideal matching. Fabrication methods are currently being optimized for expedited integration into current systems, production and marketing.

Lead Inventor:

James Hone, Ph.D.

Applications:

  • Low-power, portable wireless networks for industrial monitoring, building automation, asset management, environmental monitoring, radios, medical diagnostic and treatment instruments, and cellphones
  • Integrated and improved Bluetooth transmission and signaling
  • Increasing the strength, durability, and flexibility of wireless communication devices

Advantages:

  • Dramatically lowered area, cost and power requirements compared to existing technology
  • Can be easily constructed on CMOS using validated fabrication processes
  • Combines high frequency with large mechanical compliance, greatly improving tunability
  • Displays zero-bandgap semiconducting properties with mobility up to 120,000 cm2/V-s and quality factors greater than 1000 at room temperature
  • Can adjust the center or matching frequency with greater flexibility to achieve higher mixer linearity with enhanced out-of band rejection on RF port
  • Compatible with existing circuitry techniques and higher order filter architectures

Patent Information:

Patent Pending (US 20150194991)

Tech Ventures Reference: IR CU14172

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