15 Nov 2010



The Millimetre-Wave Technology Group has developed the capability to fabricate low capacitance Gallium Arsenide (GaAs) Schottky diodes for applications in millimetre and sub-millimetre wave heterodyne mixers, harmonic sources and direct detectors.

​​​Anti-parallel air-bridged Schottky diode pair (bridge length is 20 µm).

​Anti-parallel air-bridged Schottky diode pair (bridge length is 20 µm)


Schottky diodes operate at both ambient and cryogenic temperatures and are uniquely able to cover the frequency range from DC to above 1 THz. Schottky diode technology has been evolving for many years and has traditionally been driven by the demands of radio astronomy and remote sensing of the atmosphere. Commercial applications such as security imaging and non-destructive testing, are now increasing in importance. For these applications, Schottky based technology offers an attractive alternative to detectors and sources that require cryogenic cooling. 

Diodes fabricated in our facilities are critical components in the Microwave Imager (MWI), Microwave Sounder (MWS) and Ice Cloud Imager (ICI) instruments for the next generation of metrological satellites for Europe, Meteorological Operational Satellite - Second Generation (MetOp-SG). These diodes are also critical to the frequency multiplier and mixer components in a number of atmospheric remote sensing instruments including International Sub-Millimetre Airborne Radiometer (ISMAR) and Millimetre-Wave Airborne Receivers for Spectroscopic CHaracterisation in Atmospheric Limb Sounding (MARSCHALS). Our air-bridged diodes also enable a wide range of commercial applications including radar and non-destructive testing where the generation and detection of high frequency radiation is required. We are also involved with a number of academic groups and institutes working on the development of ultra-fast communications. 

For more information, please contact: Byron Alde​rman - Millimetre Wave Scientist or RAL Space Enquiries