Facility News

Here is some of the latest news of what has been happening at the UKRI National Millimetre Wave Measurement Facility.

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This month Dr Stephen Henthorn has been using the facility in his research into metasurfaces, below is a quote from him and some images of his research.

I've been using the mmWave facility to measure metasurfaces at frequencies from 30 GHz to 100 GHz. Metasurfaces allow us to control how electromagnetic energy reflects off and transmits through surfaces by designing their structure, rather than relying on their chemistry. We can choose patterns of metal on a surface to produce the magnitude and phase response required at different frequencies, and in advanced forms we can get exotic effects like bending microwaves in unexpected directions, or breaking symmetry by letting waves through in one direction, but not the other. It's expected that metasurfaces in the mmWave range will have applications in 6G mobile communications, such as improving antennas and radio transmitter efficiency, and producing intelligent surfaces which can direct beams of energy to our phones. The facility and technicians have been very helpful, using the PNA-X Vector Network Analyser with VDI frequency extenders to measure reflectivity and transmission through the metasurfaces, and constructing test rigs to ensure repeatable and reliable measurements.

Dr Stephen Henthorn 

image of a metasurface
Image of metasurface magnified
mounted metasurface sample

Last week we had a visit from the UTC Sheffield Physics class, it was great to meet them and explain what we do here at the National mmWave Measurement Facility.

Image of UTC students and mmWave staff
Image of UTC students and mmWave staff

This month we have a new user of the National mmWave facility, Mr Meshari Alanazi, we look forward to working with you.

I am a PhD student working on the efficient design of mmWave dielectric resonator antennas. The designed antennas operate at the 28 GHz, 40 GHz and 60 GHz frequency bands with excellent agreement between simulations and measurements using the mmWave facility.

Mr Meshari Alanazi

 

 Last month we had a visit from Dr Sergio Rodriguez-Albarran, the first ever user of the National mmWave Facility. It was great to see him on his graduation day.

I’m honoured to have been the first ever user of the cutting-edge National mmWave facilities in the University of Sheffield back in late 2019.

My project was about exploring tunable materials in dielectric resonant antennas (DRAs) at mm-Wave typical frequencies (24 -26 GHz) the resonators I studied were 3D-Printed in Polylactic Acid (PLA) and filled with graphene oxide gel, which, in presence of an incident biasing voltage achieved electronic tunability in the desired frequency range. The involvement of the innovative equipment was crucial in obtaining the frequency response, reflection coefficient and both 2D and 3D radiation patterns of all the antennas I designed constructed and characterised in my last chapters of the Thesis I presented to obtain my PhD degree in March 2020.

Dr. Sergio Rodriguez-Albarran 

Image of Sergio outside the Portobello building
Image of Sergio and Eddie in the mmWave Facility

In February we had a visit from Ming Yang and Ryan Fairclough from Arralis to test their antenna design on our NSI spherical measurement system.

Image of the front  of Arralis Antenna
Image of the users from Arralis
Image of the antenna from Arralis