Study of RF-to-DC conversion using spintronics devices
Published : 18 October 2019
Wireless sensor networks and smart sensors are at the core of the Internet of Things, requiring low cost, compact and low power electronic components. The most power consuming parts are the wireless communication transmitter and receiver modules, which remain active more or less permanently, while actual communication takes place only during a limited amount of time. Much energy is thus wasted. To overcome this bottleneck the idea is to switch the main communication modules off and to use a low power radio receiver to listen for wake-up signals. Spintronics devices represent microwave functionalities that respond to the need of such low power radio receivers. Notably they can convert passively an RF signal into a DC signal with the added value of being frequency selective. They thus act at the same time as frequency filters that can demodulate the information carried by an incoming wake-up signal. SPINTEC is currently coordinating a French ANR project to develop such spintronics based RF-to-DC converters to be used as radio receivers as well as for rf power harvesting, in close collaboration with CEA/LETI and UMPhy CNRS/THALES Palaiseau. The objective of the internship is to characterize the RF-to-DC conversion function for optimized spintronics devices fabricated at SPINTEC. The challenge is to study not only single devices but a small network of devices for multifunctional operation.