The future depends on connectivity, from artificial intelligence and self-driving cars to telemedicine and mixed reality to yet undreamt-of technology; all the things we hope will make our lives easier, safer, and healthier will require high-speed, always-ON wireless connection. Every currently available wireless device in our homes uses a specific radio frequency spectrum that is typically restricted, under 30 GHz. Due to the multifold increase in connected gadgets and vehicles, and resulting congestion, the modern wireless industry is shifting its focus towards high-frequency communication beyond 30 GHz, known as 5G and millimeter-wave (mmWave) communication. However, creating the infrastructure for this technology first requires developing the necessary hardware, especially highly complex switchable devices, and networks. Almost all wireless devices in Earth’s connected ecosystem require switch networks to facilitate efficient transmission and signal reception. This talk focuses on various novel miniaturized on-chip switching devices for efficient future 5G/6G roll-out, based on emerging phase-change materials and MEMS. In recent years, these materials have been used in optical storage and electronic memory, but this work, for the first time in Canada, exploits them for microwave and mmWave frequencies to develop a new generation of devices. Various complex switching devices integrated on a single chip that is thinner than a human hair are discussed that exhibit performance, power consumption, and efficiency surpassing any currently available technology. Compared to the competition, PCM-based RF devices exhibit low loss, high isolation, no static DC power consumption, miniaturized, and amenable for monolithic integration. This research has direct application in a wide range of science and engineering fields such as wireless communication, biomedical, military, automotive, and consumer electronics.
Dr. Tejinder Singh received the Ph.D. degree (with highest academic honor) in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada, in 2020. He is currently a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Waterloo and a Postdoctoral Scholar at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena, CA, USA. He held a Microelectronics R&D Engineer position in industry from 2010 to 2012. From 2014 to 2015, he served as a University Instructor/Lecturer. His current research interests include designing, modeling, characterization, and fabrication of phase change materials (PCMs) and microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) based RF devices for microwave and millimeter-wave (mmWave) applications. Dr. Singh is a recipient of the Governor General’s Gold Medal, one of the highest Canadian honors in academic and research for his academic excellence and outstanding doctoral research. He has received highly competitive and prestigious federal awards from the NSERC including a Postdoctoral Fellowship in 2020 and Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship in 2017. His research contributions have been bestowed numerous accolades including Young Engineer Award by European Microwave Association, Canadian Microsystems Integration Award, and multiple best paper awards in prestigious IEEE IMS (three times in a row), IMWS-AMP 2018, and twice in EuMC.
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