E-MIT and Electronics: microwaves, terahertz and light

E-MIT, Engineering of Microwaves, Terahertz and Light Group is a leading research group in the field of microwave, millimetre waves and THz research.

The E-MIT & Electronics Group forms the core capability within Lancaster's Quantum Technology Centre and is an integral part of the Cockcroft Institute for Accelerator Science & Technology, an international centre of excellence for R&D of future particle accelerators.

Core research interests in electronics include mixed signal electronics, interfaces and packaging, MEMS, microfluidic technologies and biophotonics. Competencies and resources within E-MIT allow research into high-frequency fields including microwave and vacuum electronics, particle accelerators and klystrons, terahertz radiation and applications, mid-infrared photonic materials and devices and photonic crystals, metamaterials and computational electromagnetics. The E-MIT & Electronics group aims to merge consolidated knowledge with research beyond the state of the art, to create an exciting environment for students and researchers worldwide.

Research Areas

Particle Accelerators

Particle accelerators are a key technology in several sectors with applications from treating cancer, X-ray scanning of cargo, semiconductor fabrication, material analysis and particle physics. New applications being developed include safe accelerator-driven nuclear reactors that can be turned off instantly as they operate sub-critical.

Most Nobel prizes in sciences are awarded to work performed using a particle accelerator. Next generation cancer therapy, like the ones being built in London and Manchester, will use accelerated protons to shrink tumours without damaging healthy tissue. The most famous accelerator in the world is the LHC which recently discovered a Higgs-like particle, but there is expected to be more new particles to be discovered, which will require upgrades and new accelerators. There are approximately 30,000 particle accelerators in the world and 150 in the UK alone.

Lancaster is a member of the Cockcroft Institute of Accelerator science and technology. The Cockcroft Institute is a collaboration between Lancaster, Manchester and Liverpool Universities with the Science and Technology Facilities Council, focusing on the design and construction of next-generation particle accelerators.

Our mission

Novel RF hardware development to tackle challenges presented in particle accelerators: More efficient acceleration (CERN currently uses 10% of all the electricity in Geneva) Precise control of particle beams (femtosecond timing and nanometre precision) Developing compact accelerators (The LHC has a 17-mile circumference) 

What we did

  • Built the first compact SRF crab cavity for LHC 
  • Engineered a 10 cm compact linac for X-ray scanning 
  • Developed crab cavities for the next major linear colliders (ILC and CLIC) 

Demonstrated the SRF cavity driven by a phase-locked magnetron 

What we will do

  • Install a compact crab cavity on LHC 
  • Design RF systems for future European Accelerators (inc. CLARA in the UK, ESS in Sweden) 
  • Build high-efficiency high power RF amplifiers for future accelerators 
  • Develop industrial accelerators for UK industry 
  • Train the next generation of Accelerator Engineers 

Devices

  • RF Accelerating structures
  • Deflecting and Crabbing structures
  • Superconducting RF
  • High Efficiency, High Power RF amplifiers
  • Low-Level RF Control Systems

Applications

  • LHC upgrades
  • Future Linear Colliders
  • Current and Future Light Sources
  • European Spallation Source (ESS)
  • X-ray Baggage Inspection Systems
  • Proton-based cancer therapy
  • Accelerator Driven Nuclear Reactors
Sandia Z particle accelerator

Vacuum Electronics

Vacuum electronics is the origin of the modern electronics. About sixty years ago the first tubes began operating. After the advent of solid-state electronics (transistors), its role was reduced. However, wherever is required power at kW, MW or higher level the only solution is a vacuum electron tube.

The vacuum tubes can be divided between two families

  • slow wave devices: travelling wave tube, klystron, cross-field amplifiers, backward wave oscillators
  • fast wave devices: gyrotron, free electron lasers and magnicon

No compact and low-cost source are available for enabling the numerous applications in the field, such as security, healthcare, non-destructive imaging, high-speed data rate communications.

Our mission

  • Analysis, design and fabrication of innovative configuration of vacuum tubes
  • Evaluation of the accuracy of 3D particle in cells codes

What we did

  • Analysis method for helix slow wave structures (SWSs)
  • Optimization method of the dielectric support rods
  • Statistical analysis of helix SWS

What we will do

  • Accurate analysis method for novel interaction structures

Who we are looking for

Students that like interdisciplinary approaches, full of initiative and ready to overcome new frontiers. Electronics, physics, electromagnetism, material science, chemistry are only some of the required backgrounds.

Devices

  • Travelling wave tubes
  • Klystrons
  • Magnetrons
  • Gyrotrons

Applications

  • Communications
  • Satellite
  • Radar
  • Healthcare
  • Cooking
Vacuum tube

Millimetre waves, terahertz and imaging

TeraHertz radiation is the region of the frequency spectrum included in the range 100 GHz - 10000 GHz ( 100000000000 Hz to 10000000000000 Hz).

THz frequencies:

  • can penetrate cardboard, tissue, plastic 
  • can detect the property of the matter that no other frequency band can and permit to recognize dangerous and toxic substances 
  • can discriminate the cancerous cells from the normal one, with great benefit for the cancer early diagnosis 
  • have no known health issue due to the low energy level (1/1000000 with respect to X-ray) 

No compact and low-cost source are available for enabling the numerous applications in the fields, such as security, healthcare, non-destructive imaging, high-speed data rate communications.

Our mission

  • Design and fabricate innovative compact and affordable THz vacuum tube sources with relatively high-output power 
  • Implement new applications based on THz frequencies 

What we did

  • The first 1 THz vacuum tube amplifier was realized in the frame of European Community OPTHER project. - 1 THz backward wave oscillators were designed with an output power higher than 100 mW 
  • Double corrugated waveguide: a novel interaction structure easy to realize and supporting a cylindrical electron beam - Analytical method for sub-millimetre and THz interaction structures 

What we will do

  • Design and fabrication of THz sources - Innovative approach to improve the performance - Design and realization of imaging system for security, medicine and environment 

Who we are looking for

Students that like interdisciplinary approaches, full of initiative and ready to overcome new frontiers. Electronics, physics, electromagnetism, material science, chemistry are only some of the required backgrounds.

Devices

  • THz backward wave oscillators
  • THz vacuum tube amplifiers

Applications

  • Security
  • Healthcare
  • Imaging

People

Group Leader

Professor Claudio Paoloni

Cockcroft Chair, Head of Department

Cockcroft Institute, Engineering of Microwaves, Terahertz and Light (E-MIT), Security Lancaster, Security Lancaster (Transport & Infrastructure)

+44 (0)1524 592721

Academic Staff

View by Category

Engineering of Microwaves, Terahertz and Light (E-MIT)

+44 (0)1524 594063

Engineering of Microwaves, Terahertz and Light (E-MIT)

+44 (0)1524 595176 A037, A - Floor, Science and Technology

Cockcroft Institute, Engineering of Microwaves, Terahertz and Light (E-MIT), Security Lancaster, Security Lancaster (Transport & Infrastructure)

+44 (0)1524 592177

Engineering of Microwaves, Terahertz and Light (E-MIT)

+44 (0)1524 593124

Engineering of Microwaves, Terahertz and Light (E-MIT)

+44 (0)1524 510139 C09a, C - Floor, Engineering Building

Cockcroft Institute, Engineering of Microwaves, Terahertz and Light (E-MIT)

+44 (0)1524 593085

Cockcroft Institute, Engineering of Microwaves, Terahertz and Light (E-MIT), Security Lancaster, Security Lancaster (Transport & Infrastructure)

+44 (0)1524 592763 D14, D - Floor, Engineering Building

Engineering of Microwaves, Terahertz and Light (E-MIT)

+44 (0)1524 593013 D19, D - Floor, Engineering Building

Cockcroft Institute, Engineering of Microwaves, Terahertz and Light (E-MIT), Security Lancaster, Security Lancaster (Transport & Infrastructure)

+44 (0)1524 592721

Engineering of Microwaves, Terahertz and Light (E-MIT)

+44 (0)1524 593018 B08, B - Floor, Engineering Building

Facilities

E-MIT group manages or has access to, a number of specialised laboratories at the Engineering Department and Cockcroft Institute. The vast amount of experimental resources available is fundamental to our cutting-edge research.

Microwave and Millimetre-wave Lab

Our high-power microwave laboratory provides an array of well-established facilities that are fully operative for research in the field of low-frequency vacuum tube and microwave components. A full set of equipment is available (ZVA40 Vector Network Analyzer (4 ports, 10MHz-40GHz), scalar network analysers, spectrum analyser, power meter, frequency generator, and ZVA-Z110 Frequency converter (WR10 75GHz to 110GHz).

Anechoic Chamber

Lancaster has two RF anechoic chambers. These are specially designed boxes which absorb all radio frequency signals that are emitted avoiding reflections inside the chamber. This is required to measure the performance of antennas and other sensitive radio frequency electronics.

High Energy X-ray Imaging

Lancaster has designed two high-energy X-ray sources for cargo imaging, both of which are currently based at Daresbury Laboratory. The sources use high-power microwaves to accelerate electrons to high energy before smashing them into a tungsten target to generate up to 3 MeV X-rays. This is then used to image cargo on the conveyor.

CRAB Lab

The CRAB lab at Daresbury is operated by Lancaster University and STFC (the Science and Technology Facilities Council). It is a state-of-the-art microwave measurement lab that includes mobile clean rooms and a 3-axis bead-pull facility. Here, a small perturbing bead can be accurately moved through 3 dimensions whilst RF performance is measured using a network analyser to map microwave fields in 3D.

High Power Magnetrons

Lancaster has a range of high-power magnetrons from 1 kW up to 3 MW at frequencies from 2.4 GHz up to 9.3 GHz. These are used for driving particle accelerators, RF processing and our novel research into phase-locked magnetrons. 

Veeco GENxplor Molecular Beam Epitaxy (MBE)

Lancaster has an MBE system ideal for photonics materials research on emerging technologies such as UV LEDs, solar cells and high-temperature superconductors. The MBE system allows for substrates up to 3” diameter and is ideal for cutting-edge research on a wide variety of materials including GaAs, nitrides and oxides.

Publications

Projects

Laser-assisted controlled pyrolysis of rubber/bitumen raw materials
25/04/2018 → 15/12/2018
Research

THz graphene/metamaterial active frequency modulators
31/03/2018 → 30/03/2019
Research

Hybrid graphene/metamaterial active frequency modulators
01/11/2017 → 31/05/2018
Research

H2020 : ULTRAWAVE : Ultra capacity wireless layer beyond 100 GHz based on millimeter wave Traveling Wave Tubes
01/09/2017 → 31/08/2020
Research

Novel InSb quantum dots monolitically grown on silicon for low cost mid-infrared light emitting diodes
01/05/2016 → 31/01/2019
Research

Microwave filters with improved power handling capabilities for satellite applications
05/01/2016 → 04/01/2017
Research

THz imaging system for characterisation of functional artificial materials
01/01/2016 → …
Other

IS 2015 - Advanced Materials
01/06/2015 → …
Research

High Efficiency Mid-Infrared Semiconductor Materials and Devises Grown on Silicon
01/05/2015 → 01/02/2018
Research

H2020: TWEETHER: Travelling wave tube based W-band wireless networks with high data rate, distribution, spectrum and energy efficiency
01/01/2015 → 30/09/2018
Research

THz backward wave oscillator for plasma diagnostic in nuclear fusion
01/11/2014 → 30/06/2017
Research

CLIC-UK contract Klystron studies and Crab Cavity Synchronisation
01/04/2014 → 31/03/2018
Research

Millimetre wave double corrugated waveguide TWT
01/04/2014 → 31/03/2015
Research

High Power Terahertz Vacuum devices for social benefits: India -UK Joint Action
13/01/2014 → 15/01/2014
Research

Thz backward wave oscillatorm for plasma diagnostic in nuclear fusion
01/12/2013 → 01/12/2015
Research

FST-RG: Backward Wave Oscillator for Plasma Turbulence Diagnostic
01/12/2012 → 01/12/2013
Other

Testability of Analogue Macrocells Embedded in System-on-Chip
01/03/2002 → 30/04/2005
Other