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Ashwin Samarao Wins Best Student Paper Honors

Ashwin Samarao, graduate research assistant in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Georgia Tech, won the Best Student Paper Award at the 2010 IEEE International Frequency Control Symposium, held in Newport Beach, Calif. from June 2-4.

A Ph.D. student in the Integrated MEMS Laboratory, Mr. Samarao co-wrote the award winning paper, "Intrinsic Temperature Compensation of Highly Resistive High-Q Silicon Microresonators via Charge Carrier Depletion," with his Ph.D.thesis advisor Farrokh Ayazi, who is an ECE professor.

The technique described in this paper slashes the myth that silicon could never replace quartz resonators in frequency control applications as it was thought to be impossible to compensate for its relatively large temperature coefficient of frequency (TCF) without sacrificing other figures of merit like quality factor (Q), power handling, or insertion loss. In this work, the dependency of the TCF on the free charge carriers in silicon has been identified and extensively studied for the first time. A TCF compensation technique has been successfully demonstrated by depleting the charge carriers through the creation of pn-junctions in the body of the resonator.

This novel idea also re-introduces single-crystal-silicon as a highly temperature-stable platform for high precision resonant sensors, including chemical, inertial, and temperature sensors. It further encourages research to extend the silicon platform for coupled-resonator tunable-filters and resonator-based mixers that are touted as primary requirements for the future of wireless communications, including cognitive radios.

Last revised May 15, 2020