Engineering Design Projects (ES 100), the capstone course at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, challenges seniors to engineer a creative solution to a real-world problem.
Electro-Acoustic Modulation of Surface Acoustic Waves on Thin-Film Lithium Niobate Substrate
Nicolas Weninger, S.B. ’20, electrical engineering
Surface acoustic waves are a highly useful medium for signal processing and coupling quantum systems. While they are used in almost every mobile phone as radio frequency front-end filters, there is no way to change the frequency and amplitude of waves on-chip. So Weninger designed, simulated, and fabricated a device to actively modulate these surface acoustic waves on a microstructure. Weninger also designed a benchtop control mechanism for his device. His work could help researchers advance the use of these microstructures in signal processing and quantum quibit control.
“By far the biggest challenge I faced was the background knowledge that I needed to pick up in a very short amount of time, from what surface acoustic waves even were to modelling techniques that could accurately re-create them,” he said. “Learning this proved to be vital in giving me the knowledge I needed to start designing a novel device structure against a specification.”
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