Mobile phones and base stations contain ceramic antennas called dielectric resonators. Testing at ISIS has aided manufacture of ceramic resonators to the correct specification
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ISIS helps mobile phone component manufacturers keep up with next-generation demand.
Mobile phones use small antennas known as dielectric resonators to give each phone its dedicated frequency. These ceramic components are used in base stations and handsets to carry the correct communication signals and filter out the bogus ones.
The evolving design of mobile phones and increasing consumer demand has created a need to improve performance and lower the costs of these ceramic resonators. This includes reducing their power loss, which makes quality assurance essential during manufacture.
Wireless solutions company Powerwave UK came to ISIS to recreate the firing stage of the ceramic components. Using neutron diffraction, ISIS scientists investigated the process at temperatures higher than the1000 °C at which the ceramic components are usually produced.
The research was able to identify the atomic-scale differences between materials processed under identical conditions, but which have different dielectric properties.
Testing at ISIS has proved significantly more efficient than previous trial-and-error methods, and has aided the manufacture of ceramic resonators to the correct specification.
“The world-leading work undertaken by ISIS, in collaboration with Liverpool University, generated the intrinsic data necessary for the understanding of the structure of these complex materials,” says David Iddles, development manager in the ceramics division of Powerwave UK.
Martyn Bull, Richard Ibberson
Research date: January 2006
In Situ Neutron and X-Ray Powder Diffraction Study of Cation Ordering and Domain Growth in the Dielectric Ceramic Ba3ZnTa2O9–Sr2GaTaO6
RM Ibberson, SM Moussa, MJ Rosseinsky, AN Fitch D Iddles and T Price
Journal of the American Ceramic Society, (2006), 89: 1827–1833.
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