Kenneth O

Smelling and Imaging Using Terahertz CMOS Circuits and Systems

Terahertz operation of Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) circuits and systems has become a reality. CMOS is the cost-effective IC technology used to manufacture the bulk of electronics including those for smartphones, tablets, personal computers and others. Use of CMOS IC technologies enables affordable implementation especially in high volume.  Signal generation up to 1.33 THz, coherent detection up to 1.2 THz and incoherent detection up to ~10 THz have been demonstrated using CMOS integrated circuits. Furthermore, highly integrated transceivers operating at frequencies up to ~400 GHz have been demonstrated. In addition, the affordable approaches for packaging and testing terahertz CMOS circuits are emerging. The performances of these CMOS circuits are or close to being sufficient to support electronic smelling using rotational spectroscopy that can detect and quantify concentrations of a wide variety of gases including that of volatile organic compounds, and imaging that can support operation in a wide range of visually impaired conditions such as fog, rain, dust, smoke and fire. Considering how smell is used, the application opportunities should almost be limitless for electronic smelling. The terahertz CMOS circuits can also be used to image through packaging for condition monitoring of a variety of contents starting from manufacturing to sales and points of use. Terahertz imaging can also be used to monitor moisture levels of objects. This presentation describes the state of art for terahertz CMOS circuits and systems, and more importantly, describes demonstrations of electronic smelling and imaging using the circuits and systems to motivate discussions needed to identify potential AgriFood applications.


Kenneth O received his S.B, S.M, and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sci­ence from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA in 1984, 1984, and 1989, respectively. From 1989 to 1994, Dr. O worked at Analog Devices Inc. developing sub-micron CMOS processes for mixed signal applications, and high speed bipolar and BiCMOS processes. He was a professor at the University of Florida, Gainesville from 1994 to 2009. He is currently the Director of the Texas Analog Center of Excellence and Texas Instruments Distinguished University Chair Professor of Analog Circuits and Systems at the University of Texas at Dallas. His research group is developing circuits and components required to implement analog and digital systems operating at frequencies up to 40 THz using silicon IC technologies. Dr. O was the President of the IEEE Solid-State Circuits Society in 2020 and 2021. He has authored and co-authored ~290 journal and conference publications, as well as holding 15 patents. Dr. O has received the 2014 Semiconductor Research Association University Researcher Award. Prof. O is also an IEEE Fellow.

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