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ECE Team Awarded a DARPA $4.9M DREaM Grant

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DREaM will exploit new materials and novel device structures to create RF transistors

The MSU ECE Department was selected by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to perform research under the Dynamic Range-enhanced Electronics and Materials (DREaM) program. Under the project, “Development of Millimeter-Wave High Power Density Diamond-Collector Heterojunction Bipolar Transistors,” MSU will lead a team including UW-Madison, the Fraunhofer Center for Coatings and Diamond Technologies, and the University at Buffalo. The goal of DREaM is to explore material properties and device concepts that go beyond the seemingly inescapable performance tradeoffs between four key characteristics of RF transistors: (1) signal power, which determines an RF system’s range of operation, (2) power-added efficiency, which determines the size and weight of the power system required to run them, (3) the range of frequencies (bandwidth) of transistor performance, and (4) the intrinsic device linearity, a measure of the ultimate fidelity at which a receiver can amplify signals, including weak ones that otherwise would get lost in the cluttered spectrum. The MSU-led approach allows disparate emitter and base materials to be combined with a diamond collector to enable higher power and voltage gain (dynamic range) in contrast to deeply-scaled transistor concepts that result in greatly reduced operating voltages to obtain wide frequency bandwidth performance. The MSU team is led by John Albrecht, Professor of ECE,  Timothy Grotjohn, Professor of ECE, and John Papapolymerou, MSU Foundation Professor of ECE.