Polymer Gap Adapter for Contactless, Robust, and Fast Measurements at 220–325 GHz

Abstract

Radiation leakages are a considerable problem when measuring waveguide structures at high frequencies. In order to maintain good electrical contact, flanges need to be tightly and evenly screwed to the device under test. This can be a time-consuming operation, especially with repeated measurements. We present a metamaterial-based adapter, which prohibits leakage even in the presence of gaps at the interconnects. This so-called gap adapter has been fabricated from a metallized polymer (SU8). The reflection coefficient is below -20 dB throughout the band for a 50-μm gap on both sides of the gap adapter. In comparison, a conventional waveguide with a 50-μm gap on both sides has a reflection coefficient of -10 dB. The gap adapter can be used to perform fast measurements, since the normal flange screws are redundant. We compare the SU8 gap adapter with a Si version and to a smooth metal waveguide reference disc. The SU8 gap adapter performed better than the Si version and much better than the waveguide disc in all test cases. SU8 gap adapters were used to measure on a waveguide component. The SU8 gap adapters with 50-μm gaps performed comparable with the waveguide component with the flange screws carefully tightened. The polymer also makes the gap adapter mechanically robust and easy to mass fabricate.

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