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A scientist at the Army Research Laboratory has recently invented a temperature stable phase shifter/filter technology that ensures uninterrupted reliable data transfer via on-the-move (OTM) communications systems operating in harsh temperature environments. The patented technology is available via patent license agreement to companies that would make, use, or sell it commercially.
The material Ba1-xSrxTiO3 (BST) in thin film form is a key substrate in tunable microwave devices, such as filters and phase shifters. For these tunable microwave devices, high dielectric tunability, low microwave loss, and good temperature stability are required for optimum performance and long-term reliability. The current generation of tunable microwave phase shifter devices is based on single composition, paraelectric BST films, and the military and commercial end-users have expressed significant concern that in practical applications such as with OTM phased array antennas, the phase shifter performance will be compromised due to the temperature dependence of the device capacitance. Changes in the device capacitance that stems from ambient temperature fluctuations will disrupt the phase shifter performance via device-to-device phase shift and/or insertion loss variations leading to beam pointing errors and ultimately communication disruption and/or failure in the ability to receive and transmit the information.
To address the need for temperature stable phase shifters and filters, ARL has devised a temperature stable material that possesses low dielectric loss and high tunability, particularly for use in phase shifting and/or tunable preselector (filter) devices for communications systems. The material is a compositionally stratified perovskite oxide three-layer heterostructure. Each layer is a variant of a BST compound.
- Temperature stability over a broad temperature range (−10° to 90° C)
- Enhanced tunability, low loss, and dielectric permittivity values less than 500
- Higher tunability allows for fewer tuning elements and lowers cost
- Businesses can commercialize the technology by licensing U.S. Patent 8,053,027 from the Army
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