Available Technologies

Nematic Liquid Crystal Tuning of Analog Filters at GHz Frequencies

UAH-P-12011-Nematic Liquid Crystal Tuning of Analog Filters at GHz Frequencies

Docket: UAH-P-12011

Technology

The key component to increase data rates for faster and more individualized customer service is the use of narrow band filters for multi antenna transmission and reception (MIMO). The width of each antenna's channel and overlap between different antennas in MIMO architecture limits the signal-to-noise ratio.

Researchers at UAH have developed a high-quality, tunable, front-end filter for Wi-Fi, cellular, and satellite communication networks. To achieve this result, UAH engineers have combined nematic liquid crystals with a notch filter and a commercial, off-the-shelf operational amplifier. The bandwidth of the GHz frequency signal sent through this new filter is narrower than that of current transceiver electronics. Thus, the absence of digital filtering decreases the frequency space between the signals to provide more channels than are currently available. Multiple filters can be combined with either one or several antennas to significantly improve data rate and signal-to-noise ratio in commercial communication networks.

This also leads to an improved understanding of the physical and chemical behavior of liquid crystals driven at radio frequencies.

Applications

  • Wide-band communications, such as Wi-Fi networks, 5G cell phones, satellite TV
  • Direct measurement of electronic characteristics and relaxation times of crystals
  • Testing of inductive resonators
  • Investigation of the capacitive designs that can be used in the cellular spectrum

Advantages

  • Improved data rate
  • Improved signal-to-noise ratio
  • Cost efficient

Status

  • State of Development: Proof of concept
  • Licensing Status: Available for licensing
  • Patent Status: Patent pending