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Title: Varactor with integrated micro-discharge source

An apparatus that includes a varactor element and an integrated micro-discharge source is disclosed herein. In a general embodiment, the apparatus includes at least one np junction and at least one voltage source that is configured to apply voltage across the np junction. The apparatus further includes an aperture that extends through the np junction. When the voltage is applied across the np junction, gas in the aperture is ionized, forming a plasma, in turn causing a micro-discharge (of light, charge particles, and space charge) to occur. The light (charge particles, and space charge) impinges upon the surface of the np junction exposed in the aperture, thereby altering capacitance of the np junction. When used within an oscillator circuit, the effect of the plasma on the np-junction extends the capacitance changes of the np-junction and extends the oscillator frequency range in ways not possible by a conventional voltage controlled oscillator (VCO).
Authors:
; ;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1329304
Report Number(s):
9,472,689
14/843,060
DOE Contract Number:
AC04-94AL85000
Resource Type:
Patent
Resource Relation:
Patent File Date: 2015 Sep 02
Research Org:
Sandia National Laboratories (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
47 OTHER INSTRUMENTATION; 71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS