In November 2022 the joint project „Key Components for Wireless, Optical and Quantum Communication (WOQ-COMP)“ between Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and Fraunhofer FEP started. The aim of the project is to develop key technologies for the production of new components in the field of wireless and optical communication.
Planned demonstrators in the project are, on the one hand, tunable RF filters as required for advanced mobile communication technology, and waveguide-based optical frequency converters. These devices are based on the piezoelectric and ferroelectric properties of the thin-film material Aluminum scandium nitride (AlScN). Fraunhofer FEP is developing the technology for plasma-based deposition of the AlScN layer.
The project combines the unique capabilities of Carnegie Mellon University in the design and fabrication of piezoelectric micro- and nanosystems with the expertise of Fraunhofer FEP in vacuum-based layer deposition by magnetron sputtering, including multiple approaches for influencing layer properties via the growth parameters.
The project is co-funded by the program ICON (International Cooperation and Networking) of Fraunhofer, which aims to intensify Fraunhofer’s collaboration with excellent international partners. The duration is 3 years. The project is accompanied by an international committee of specialists from industry and science, which regularly evaluates the goals, methods and status of the work.