Interview

Klaus Werner cooks up a new solid-state RF training

Collin Arocho
Leestijd: 5 minuten

RF energy systems have undergone a huge transformation since the early days of the tube-based magnetrons. But according to , while the crude power of the tube is tough to match, the new generation of solid-state RF integrated circuits offers unprecedented control, efficiency and reproducibility.

Klaus Werner didn’t get a usual start in the field of RF energy solutions. After studying physics at the University of Aachen, he came to Delft University of Technology to further develop CVD systems for semiconductor technology. “At the time, I was just meant to be there for six months,” remembers Werner. But eight years and a PhD in silicon germanium growth in CVD-type systems later, Werner found himself still in Delft. “It was definitely time for a new challenge,” he recalls. Then, in 1995, Werner joined the MOS-3 fab in Nijmegen for 10 years before going to Eindhoven to the Philips team responsible for laser displacement sensors – those that are still used in computer mice today.

The fit wasn’t quite right for Werner, and the 3+ hours of commuting every day for work simply wasn’t working. So back to Nijmegen he went, becoming part of the RF power group at NXP. “The group was mostly concerned with the development of semiconductor technology and devices for high-power, high-frequency applications of RF. Most notably, in the areas of base stations for the cellular network, telephone, radar systems, and to a large extent, radio-TV transmission,” Werner describes. But it was while he was there at NXP that he saw people were applying the electromagnetic waves not for communications and data but using their sheer energy to power plasmas for lasers, lights and even medical applications, for example in hypothermia.

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