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Metal-insulator-transition switches

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New for July 2019. Certain metal oxides have properties that change drastically with temperature. These are called transition metal oxides (TMOs). A sub-class of TMOs is metal-insulator-transition (MIT) materials. One MIT material that gets a lot of attention these days is vanadium dioxide (VO2).  If you are of a certain age, you might remember a product called VO5:

 

 

Darpa spent some pretty good money on MIT switches on the Adaptive RFTechnologies (ART) and Arrays at Commercial Timescales (ACT) programs, see this reference:

https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/7751061

You'd think that research in "MIT" materials would be led by Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and that they named the class of marierials after themselves.  But that is not the case. Muash of teh work done so far was done by Teledyne, which was funded by Darpa.  Here's a great paper that we found on the ol' web

https://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1906/1906.03034.pdf

Here's some research  being done by University of California Davis:

https://www.bnl.gov/newsroom/news.php?a=113208

and University of California Santa Barbara:

https://www.alexandria.ucsb.edu/lib/ark:/48907/f3pr7t4z

In any case, your job as a microwave engineer is to care little about the physics of the transition, and figure out how to exploit it into hardware improvements. Ask questions about temperature range and power handling before you take a deep dive into VO2!

 

Author : Unknown Editor

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