Cool Circuit: Designing the Next Generation of Sensor Instruments
The image above shows a close up view of a Terahertz CMOS (complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor). The greenish rectangle (aluminum) measures approximately 300 x 200 micrometers. On top of the silicon substrate (where the transistors lie), is a stack of 13 metal layers used for wiring, and the inverted bow tie shape is a 650 GHz antenna built from the top three metal layers. The two dots at the center are electrical interconnects that tunnel down into the chip and connect to the transistors which convert Terahertz energy into a direct current signal. Graduate students working with UMass Amherst electrical and computer engineer Joseph Bardin carried out this work. His group is also designing novel ways to optimize the interface between superconducting sensors and semiconductor electronics. The research has broad scientific applications for sensor instruments that image more quickly while requiring much less power. Learn more.
Photo credit: Bardin Research Group