Spectral Characterization of Dielectric Materials Using Terahertz Measurement Systems
AuthorSeligman, Jeffrey M.
Electrical & Computer Engineering
AdvisorWalker, Christopher K.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe performance of modern high frequency components and electronic systems are often limited by the properties of the materials from which they are made. Over the past decade, there has been an increased emphasis on the development of new, high performance dielectrics for use in high frequency systems. The development of these materials requires novel broadband characterization, instrumentation, and extraction techniques, from which models can be formulated. For this project several types of dielectric sheets were characterized at terahertz (THz) frequencies using quasi-optical (free-space) techniques. These measurement systems included a Fourier Transform Spectrometer (FTS, scalar), a Time Domain Spectrometer (TDS, vector), a Scalar Network Analyzer (SNA), and a THz Vector Network Analyzer (VNA). Using these instruments the THz spectral characteristics of dielectric samples were obtained. Polarization based anisotropy was observed in many of the materials measured using vector systems. The TDS was the most informative and flexible instrument for dielectric characterization at THz frequencies. To our knowledge, this is the first such comprehensive study to be performed. Anisotropy effects within materials that do not come into play at microwave frequencies (e.g. ~10 GHz) were found, in many cases, to increase measured losses at THz frequencies by up to an order of magnitude. The frequency dependent properties obtained during the course of this study included loss tangent, permittivity (index of refraction), and dielectric constant. The results were largely consistent between all the different systems and correlated closely to manufacturer specifications over a wide frequency range (325 GHz-1.5 THz). Anisotropic behavior was observed for some of the materials. Non-destructive evaluation and testing (NDE/NDT) techniques were used throughout. A precision test fixture was developed to accomplish these measurements. Time delay, insertion loss, and S-parameters were measured directly, from which loss tangent, index of refraction, and permittivity was extracted. The test materials were low-loss dielectric slabs ranging in thickness from 1-60 mils. The substrate sheets were PTFE, fiberglass, and epoxy-ceramic composite substrates. The other group was polyethylene plastic sheets (LDPE/HDPE/UMHW) and 3D printer Photopolymers. The results were verified by using several online THz spectral databases and compared to manufacturer data sheets. Permittivity and loss of some of the test samples varied as a function of polarization angle. 0 - 90 degrees of rotation were tested (i.e., H-V, and 45 degrees polarization). Inter-molecular scattering in the composite materials raised the loss considerably. This effect was verified. Standard, well documented, material types were selected for the project for best comparison. These techniques can also be applied to analyze newer substances such as nanodielectrics.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Electrical & Computer Engineering