Applause for MPACT members Yali Zhang and Aditya Dave

Doctoral candidates Yali Zhang and Aditya Dave, members of professor Rhonda Franklin's MPACT (Microwave Packaging and Technology) research group are gaining traction in their areas of interest. Recently Zhang received the master of ceremony's choice award for her talk at the Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition at the 2021 International Microwave Symposium. Aditya Dave's entry at the 2021 IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society (AP-S) student paper competition has been designated as an Honorable Mention.

Zhang's presentation was titled "Make the Connection using Nanometer Sized Joints." The talk was based on her conference paper for the 2021 Symposium. One of the top 50 papers accepted, "Study of Nanowire-based Integrated Via Technology for CMOS Application in Millimeter-wave Frequencies," has been published in the Microwave Wireless Components Letters.

As part of her doctoral research, Zhang is working on characterizing magnetic and non-magnetic nanowires, and applying them in device components. Based on magnetic nanowires characterization technology, a nano-labeling system can be built, and small-sized non-reciprocal devices can be designed accurately. Her study of non-magnetic copper oxide nanowires holds the potential to develop low-loss, fast-speed 3D integrated circuits. Ultimately, her goal is to develop accurate and sensitive methods to characterize nanowires to be used for cell labeling and circuitry components for 5G and 6G communication applications. After graduation, Zhang plans on applying knowledge gained through her research towards solving real life problems, drawing on diverse disciplines such as biology and material science for RF circuits and designs.

Dave's entry at the 2021 IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society (AP-S) student paper competition has been designated as an Honorable Mention. His paper is titled "Single Feed Dual Beam Antenna using Metamaterial Surfaces for Near-Field Phase Manipulation." His research lies in electromagnetics and its applications, and he is currently working on antenna technology. A significant element of his doctoral endeavor is the development of efficient designs for planar antennas with a dielectric lens. These types of systems have the potential to extract higher performance from relatively small and compact antennas through increased efficiency. He has designed efficient lenses that split radiation originating from an antenna into multiple near-field identical beams, which make these systems viable for a range of near-field and far-field applications. 

One of the near field applications is free-space miniature power dividers that can also act as vertical interconnects in integrated circuits. Far-field applications include the possibility of developing passive beam steering virtual antenna arrays and remote sensing applications such as measurement of water content in the soil for plants. Dave's goal for his doctoral thesis is to build and test prototypes for one or more of his applications. Ultimately, he would like to pursue a research centered career rooted in applications for the space sector. 

Both Zhang and Dave were previously recognized for their Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) presentations hosted by the College of Science and Engineering. Zhang had placed first, and Dave was named a people's choice award winner.