23 July 2003 All-dielectric fiber-optic passive millimeter-wave antenna
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An integrated Mach-Zehnder interferometer made of electro-optic polymer, which has excellent broadband (>100 GHz) response, was fabricated as a mm-wave receive antenna. When an electric field is applied to the interferometer arm(s) made of EO material, a phase delay is generated which results in a net imbalance in the interferometer and thus a change in the output intensity. This output intensity change, which contains electric field strength and temporal profile information, is then read by a photodetector and processed. To test this antenna in free space, a micro-strip travelling electromagnetic cell, which has uniform electric field distribution in the 1 GHz range, was constructed. The test results show the antenna had good linear response over a 40 dB power range, at 1 GHz center frequency. The measured minimum detectable E-field strength was about 0.22 V/m (or 6.7 nW/cm2) at 1 kHz bandwidth with a laser power of 7.9 μWatt (-21dBm) measured after the sensor, which agrees with our theoretical calculations. The measured E-field signal increases with increasing laser power, which indicates that significant sensitivity improvement, can be easily obtained by lowering passive losses. The antenna was found to be thermally stable over a temperature range from -30 to 50 C. The antenna sensitivity can be further improved by lowering the device insertion loss, optimizing the photodetector and detection circuitry, and using EO polymers with higher electro-optic coefficients.
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Wen Cheng Wang, Wen Cheng Wang, Weiping Lin, Weiping Lin, Hank Marshall, Hank Marshall, David T. Schaafsma, David T. Schaafsma, Richard Chaung, Richard Chaung, } "All-dielectric fiber-optic passive millimeter-wave antenna", Proc. SPIE 5100, Digital Wireless Communications V, (23 July 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.487164; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.487164

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