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Opportunity at National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

On-Chip Metrology for the mm-Wave Revolution


Communications Technology Laboratory, Radio Frequency Technology Division

RO# Location
50.67.22.B8279 Boulder, CO

Please note: This Agency only participates in the February and August reviews.


Name E-mail Phone
Orloff, Nathan Daniel 303.497.4938


To perform as intended, modern electronics—transistors, amplifiers, mixers, etc.—must simultaneously control large-amplitude1 electrical signals at up to ten harmonics (i.e., multiples) of the operating frequency.  Engineering this control requires test equipment to generate larger-amplitude diagnostic signals with precisely known and controlled magnitudes and phases at these harmonics. Currently, large-amplitude electrical test instrumentation is stuck below roughly 40 GHz, forcing manufacturers to design modern high-frequency electronics by trialand-error. To break the 40 GHz limit, we must completely depart from conventional technology. We proposed a DC to 1 THz large-amplitude optoelectronic multitone electrical-signal synthesizer, and we need your help.

The key ideas are to combine the large amplitudes of new electronic amplifiers with the THz bandwidth of optics, and divide frequencies down to reduce noise. Building on these ideas, we use a modular architecture to amplify individual electrical signals one at a time, producing the largest possible diagnostic signals above 40 GHz. Our proposal went beyond providing new tools for NIST to explore new materials and fundamental physics by facilitating large-amplitude tests on modern electronics operating above 40 GHz. These tests accelerate the introduction of the high-bandwidth, low-latency telecommunications systems needed to ensure US leadership in autonomous infrastructure, exascale computing, and augmented reality. In a nutshell, this program is making a really amazing fourier synthesizer.

We have three programmatic research areas: Design/Simulation/Construction/Test of optical frequency combs systems that use a waveshaper; Design/Simulation/Fabrication/Test of terahertz optical-to-electrical transducers; an Design/Simulation/Fabrication/Test of terahertz electrical combiners.

We want you!


Lee CH, et al: Exploiting dimensionality and defect mitigation to create tunable microwave dielectrics, Nature 502: 7472, 2013. 10.1038/nature12582


Optics; Telecommunications; mm-wave; Terahertz; Ferroelectrics; Materials; Microwave; Physics; Microelectronics;


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral applicants
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