BiCMOS Circuits For Ultra-Sensitive Scientific Sensor Systems

March 27, 2015
Speaker: Joseph Bardin, Assistant Professor, University of Massachusetts, Amherst


In a variety of critical scientific fields, the highest performance instrumentation exploits cryogenically cooled electronics to achieve levels of performance far beyond what is feasible using room temperature electronics. For example, the free-space optical communications link-currently under development by NASA for Gbps communication with spacecraft-requires superconducting nanowire single photon detectors (SNSPD) operating at 1 K physical temperature to achieve sufficient earth terminal sensitivity. While much research has been focused on novel device technologies to enable new and more sensitive scientific instrumentation, limited work has focused on the use of semiconductor circuits to optimize the performance of these systems. In this talk, we will describe our research efforts in ultra-sensitive cryogenically cooled SiGe BiCMOS electronics for scalable scientific instruments. The talk will begin with a review of the physical performance limitations of SiGe HBTs at deep cryogenic temperatures (e.g., 4 K) and a discussion of modeling issues encountered by designers targeting this unconventional temperature range. We will then present the design, characterization, and system impact of novel circuits for a variety of applications ranging from THz focal plane arrays for radio astronomy to detector systems for quantum optics.

Speaker Bio

Joseph Bardin received the BS, MS, and PhD degrees in Electrical Engineering from UCSB, UCLA, and Caltech in 2003, 2005, and 2009, respectively. From 2003-2005, he was with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. In 2010, he joined the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst as an Assistant Professor. His research group explores a broad range of topics in the field of high-frequency circuit design ranging from device modeling to the implementation of sophisticated integrated circuits. He is the recipient of a 2011 DARPA Young Faculty Award and a 2014 NSF CAREER Award.

Hosted by Harish Krishnaswamy.

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