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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences - Optical Systems

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences | Department of Physics | Optical Systems | Publications | Gas Spectroscopy System for Breath Analysis at mm-wave/THz Using SiGe BiCMOS Circuits

K. Schmalz, Nick Rothbart, Philipp F Neumaier, J. Borngräber, H.-W. Hübers, and D. Kissinger (2017)

Gas Spectroscopy System for Breath Analysis at mm-wave/THz Using SiGe BiCMOS Circuits

IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques, 65(5):1807–1818.

The unique fingerprint spectra of volatile organic compounds for breath analysis and toxic industrial chemicals make an mm-wave (mmW)/THz gas sensor very specific and sensitive. This paper reviews and updates results of our recent work on sensor systems for gas spectroscopy based on integrated transmitter (TX) and receiver (RX), which are developed and fabricated in IHPʼs 0.13 µm SiGe BiCMOS technology. In this paper, we present an mmW/THz spectroscopic system including a folded gas absorption cell of 1.9 m length between the TX and RX modules. We discuss the results and specifications of our sensor system based on integrated TX and RX. We demonstrate TXs and RXs with integrated antennas for spectroscopy at 238-252 GHz and 494-500 GHz using integer-N phase-locked loops (PLLs). We present a compact system by using fractional-N PLLs allowing frequency ramps for the TX and RX, and for TX with superimposed frequency shift keying or reference frequency modulation. In another configuration, the voltage controlled oscillators of the TX and RX local oscillator are tuned directly without PLLs by applying external voltages. Further developments of our system are aimed at realizing an even wider frequency span by switching between frequency bands, and to use a more compact gas absorption cell.

Gas spectroscopy, mm-wave (mmW), receiver, sensor, SiGe, terahertz (THz), transmitter