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Probes take on terahertz technology

09 Jul 2014

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T-Wave probe

Cascade Microtech Inc. unveiled the T-Wave series of waveguide probes for on-wafer probing of millimetre wave and sub-millimetre wave circuits.

Applications such as short-range communication, terahertz imaging, astronomy, and other high-speed communications applications require the ability to characterise sub-millimetre wave devices with data that is accurate and repeatable. Recent technology innovation in photonics and nanotechnology is enabling terahertz research, which is being applied in many emerging technology sectors.

Terahertz technology is finding use in an increasingly wide variety of applications: information and communications technology; biology and medical sciences; non-destructive evaluation; homeland security; quality control of food and agricultural products; global environmental monitoring; and ultra-fast computing among others. These applications present unique challenges, particularly with transmission line losses as testing approaches 600GHz and beyond.

Significant progress has been made in terahertz band (300GHz-3,000GHz) circuit fabrication, and continued growth in terahertz applications requires the availability of quality test and measurement equipment. Robust and calibrated on-wafer measurements of planar millimetre and sub-millimetre wave devices can significantly reduce the effort required to characterise a wafer of devices while increasing the accuracy of the measurement by eliminating errors and effects associated with fixtures.

Cascade Microtech now offers its new T-Wave probe series, which includes millimetre and sub-millimetre wavelength on-wafer ground-signal-ground probes and associated components for electrical measurement of devices and materials with frequencies up to 1.1THz. The T-Wave probe's innovative silicon probe tip is instrumental in achieving not only small pitches as narrow as 25µm but also delivers low contact resistance and insertion loss of less than 1.5dB between 140GHz and 220GHz. The T-Wave probe has excellent tip visibility for accurate probe placement, and with easily replaceable probe tips, cost of ownership is significantly reduced.

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