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PolyStrata®: Finally, Microwaves Get Wired
Keywords: PolyStrata®, Microwave, 3D
Microwave signal routing is accomplished in air-dielectric copperconductor micro-coax-based coaxial transmission lines that provide a superior combination of low loss and high power handling (similar in principle to heliax cables used in cell phone towers) as well as high isolation compared to planar media. Micron circuit tolerances across inches of distance enabledesign simulations to quickly converge into real hardware providing rapid time to market. Available components for embedding in larger designs include monolithic high performance passives such as couplers, baluns, splitters, power combiners, waveguides, and antennas. Because PolyStrata can form coaxial lines, it provides TEM propagation without spurious substrate modes and negligible radiation loss. Interconnects and transitions are formed monolithically to interface to traditional connectors, circuit boards, COTS integrated circuits and standard waveguide. RF-probe-like controlled impedance connections to RFICs can replace problematic wirebonds, enabling active systems well beyond W-band. PolyStrata technology is a strong choice as a technology platform for microwave front-ends where loss is critical (antennas, feed networks, preselect filters, diplexers, switches, limiters and more) due to its disruptive advantages as a propagation medium for microwave electronics. It holds significant advantages for power combiners in solid-state power amps (SSPA's), enabling record combiner efficiency over broad bandwidth. PolyStrata's 3D capability enables compact layouts of long networks such as meandered delay lines for broadband systems. High-yield batch processing in large format provides MIL-quality, repeatable performance and lower cost compared to hybrid construction and will enable future low-cost AESA solutions particularly at millimeter-wave. PolyStrata Figures of Merit include: • Low loss (as low as 0.04 dB/cm at 20 GHz) • Adjacent line isolation of >80dB over long distances • Demonstrated power handling >100 watts continuous wave • Better than +/-2 ohm impedance control • High Q, precision tolerance inductors (Q=140 at 2 GHz, self-resonant frequency 2X compared to planar inductors)
Steve Huettner, Senior Member of Technical Staff
Nuvotronics LLC
Radford, VA

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