3D Smith charts scattering parameters frequency-dependent orientation analysis and complex-scalar multi-parameter characterization applied to Peano reconfigurable vanadium dioxide inductors

Sci Rep. 2019 Dec 4;9(1):18346. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-54600-5.


Recently, the field of Metal-Insulator-Transition (MIT) materials has emerged as an unconventional solution for novel energy efficient electronic functions, such as steep slope subthermionic switches, neuromorphic hardware, reconfigurable radiofrequency functions, new types of sensors, terahertz and optoelectronic devices. Employing radiofrequency (RF) electronic circuits with a MIT material like vanadium Dioxide, VO2, requires appropriate characterization tools and fabrication processes. In this work, we develop and use 3D Smith charts for devices and circuits having complex frequency dependences, like the ones resulting using MIT materials. The novel foundation of a 3D Smith chart involves here the geometrical fundamental notions of oriented curvature and variable homothety in order to clarify first theoretical inconsistencies in Foster and Non Foster circuits, where the driving point impedances exhibit mixed clockwise and counter-clockwise frequency dependent (oriented) paths on the Smith chart as frequency increases. We show here the unique visualization capability of a 3D Smith chart, which allows to quantify orientation over variable frequency. The new 3D Smith chart is applied as a joint complex-scalar 3D multi-parameter modelling and characterization environment for reconfigurable RF design exploiting Metal-Insulator-Transition (MIT) materials. We report fabricated inductors with record quality factors using VO2 phase transition to program multiple tuning states, operating in the range 4 GHz to 10 GHz.