Nonlinear Microwave Measurements and Modelling Laboratories

The Nonlinear Microwave Measurement and Modelling Laboratories (n3m-labs) are dedicated to measurement and modelling of nonlinear RF and microwave technologies. There is one based within our Institute here at Surrey and another in the National Physical Laboratories TQEM division in Teddington.

About the labs

The n3m-labs are a national resource and were the first of their kind in the world to enable the complete characterisation of microwave and millimetre-wave devices, circuits, sub-systems and systems. These include:

  • On-wafer S-parameter measurement
  • Pulsed-IV
  • On-wafer and fixture-based high-power load-pull
  • Nonlinear vector network analyser (NVNA) measurements.

Multi-physics characterisation using high-frequency electro-optic field probing and advanced thermal reflectance measurement techniques allow dynamic high-frequency electric fields and temperature gradients to be captured simultaneously during device operation. 

Extensive cluster computing resources and software allow n3m-labs to study the details of the coupling between the semiconductor device, temperature, and electric fields that can limit the performance of a high-power microwave transistor.

The labs offer core capability comprising comprehensive nonlinear microwave network analysis and on-wafer probing systems for planar micro- and nano-electronic circuits and components.

Our facilities

Our facilities include:

  • Load-pull capability
  • Thermal sensing and electromagnetic field sensing (for devices operating in-situ)
  • Electronic circuit modelling using large-scale computer clusters.

NPL facilities

Facilities at NPL include:

  • Millimetre- and submillimetre-wave frequency range extenders (to 750 GHz)
  • PCB probe stations
  • On-wafer probe stations (to 220 GHz)
  • Modelling capability using electromagnetic time- and frequency-domain field solvers.

Use the facilities

The n3m-labs facilities are available for use by industrial companies, SMEs and research groups, please contact Dr Koen Buisman for Advanced Technology Institute facilities and Professor Nick Ridler for any NPL facilities.