Way created for integration of ultra-small antennas into an electronic chip- SL Scientist

Updated: 00:00 GMT, Jan 1, 1970 | Published: 04:42 GMT, Apr 19, 2015 |

Research led by Professor Gehan Amaratunga from the Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge, have explained one of the ambiguities of electromagnetism. In new experimental data published in the April 2015 issue of the journal Physical Review Letters, the researchers have propositioned that electromagnetic waves are generated from an occurrence known as symmetry breaking in addition the acceleration of electrons. This discovery will have, on the one hand, a practical bearing on wireless communications, and recognize the aspects where theories of classical electromagnetism and quantum mechanics overlap, on the other.

Importantly, these findings could enable the design of antennas small enough to be integrated into an electronic chip. These ultra-small antennas are the ‘last frontier’ of semiconductor design. Realistically, this breakthrough can lead to considerable advances in wireless communications. The purpose of any antenna, whether in a communications tower or a mobile phone, is to discharge energy into free space as electromagnetic or radio waves, and in turn to gather energy from free space and return into the device. One of the major problems in modern electronics, however, is that antennas have remained quite big making them incompatible with electronic circuits which are getting smaller all the time. “Antennas, or aerials, are one of the limiting factors when trying to make smaller and smaller systems, since below a certain size, the losses become too great,” said Professor Gehan Amaratunga of Cambridge’s Department of Engineering, who led the research. “An aerial’s size is determined by the wavelength associated with the transmission frequency of the application, and in most cases it’s a matter of finding a compromise between aerial size and the characteristics required for that application.”

Professor Amnaratunga is also the Chief of Research and Innovation at the Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology which was launched as a public private partnership to carry out high impact research with a global relevance in nanotechnology and advanced technologies.