CMOS Terahertz and mm-Wave Electronics: Reaching the Fundamental Limits

Center for Pervasive Communication and Computing


Nanoscale Communication Integrated Circuits Labs

Speaker :Prof. Omeed Momeni

Host:Payam Heydari


There is a growing interest in terahertz and mm-wave systems for compact, low cost and energy efficient imaging and spectroscopy. Detection of concealed weapons, cancer diagnosis, food quality control, and breath analyses for disease diagnosis are among many examples that will rapidly flourish if compact and on-chip terahertz systems are realized. While CMOS can overcome these challenges, the best reported fmax of CMOS transistors fall well below terahertz frequencies. To overcome these drawbacks, we have introduced systematic methodologies for designing circuits and components operating close to and beyond the conventional limits of the devices. These circuit blocks can effectively generate, combine, and process signals from multiple devices to achieve performances orders of magnitude better than the state of the art. As an example, we show the implementation of a 482 GHz oscillator in a 65 nm CMOS process with an output power of 160 mW (-7.9 dBm), which is ~8,000 times more than any other CMOS sources at this frequency range. Using a similar methodology we design and implement a 107 GHz amplifier with a gain of 12.5 dB and saturated output power of >2.3 dBm in a 130 nm CMOS process. We also show a traveling-wave frequency multiplier for high power and wide-band terahertz and mm-wave signal generation. This signal source has twice the operating frequency and tuning range of the best reported CMOS multiplier. Moreover, to go beyond the conventional limitations of passive circuits, we developed a method to perform signal processing using 2-D electrical lattices. In this way, we introduced an electrical prism that can achieve a filtering quality factor that is orders of magnitude larger than the quality factor of the individual components in terahertz frequencies.



Omeed Momeni received his PhD degree in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University in 2011. He joined the faculty of Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at University of California, Davis in 2011. He is currently a visiting professor in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department at University of California, Irvine. From 2004 to 2006, he was with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), to design L-band transceivers for synthetic aperture radars (SAR) and high power amplifiers for Mass Spectrometer applications. His research interests include mm-wave and terahertz integrated circuits and systems.


Prof. Momeni is the recipient of the Best Ph.D. Thesis Award from the Cornell ECE Department in 2011, the Outstanding Graduate Award from Association of Professors and Scholars of Iranian Heritage (APSIH) in 2011, the Best Student Paper Award at the IEEE Workshop on Microwave Passive Circuits and Filters in 2010, the Cornell University Jacob’s fellowship in 2007 and the NASA-JPL fellowship in 2003.