BST - Technology to 'tune' to the future!

Published: 11 Jul 2003

By Deepa Doraiswamy, Research Analyst.

Wireless Communication - Localizing Global Communication.

Wireless communication has become a fixture in technology driven world of today. It provides a convenient, cost effective and quick method of communication across and beyond the globe. The growth in wireless communication has been supplemented by corresponding evolution of technologies that enhance the performance of wireless equipment and enable seamless communication. The Barium Strontium Titanate (BST) technology is one such promising technology that addresses a very critical aspect of wireless communication, which is tunability.

BST - Ferroelectrics in tuning.

Barium Strontium Titanate is a ferroelectric material that has a voltage dependent dielectric constant property. In capacitors made from BST, this unique characteristic causes a slight variation of the BST crystal structure when a voltage is applied to it. This distortion is translated into a equivalent change in the relative dielectric constant value and in turn the capacitance value. BST being an insulating ceramic, it has no forward bias and hence the electronically tunable BST capacitors can handle higher powers and be operated with larger signal amplitude unlike the conventional varactor diodes.

This innovative tunable capacitor technology provides solutions that offer tumultuous advantages including reduced board footprint, enhanced performance, effective cost reduction and also flexible design. This enabling technology is potentially targeted towards a multitude of applications in the commercial and military RF communications space. Agile Materials and Technologies Inc., a Californian based company pioneering the ferroelectrics field, has successfully demonstrated a proprietary method to deploy the unique tuning characteristics of BST for the benefit of the wireless community.

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