Intellectual Property

Electronically Configurable Millimetre Wave Filters & Antennas

Electronically Configurable Millimetre Wave Filters & Antennas

Originally developed for Space applications, this novel technology makes use of a combination of advanced micromachining and liquid crystal technology to create frequency selective surface devices that enable system designers to have free space electronically configurable millimetre wave filters and robust low-powered high frequency antennas


Based on many years of advanced research into microwave and millimetre wave device design, Queen’s University Belfast has developed a unique technology to create novel millimetre wave components. The device construction is shown below and consists of micromachined quartz plates patterned with metal electodes. Sandwiched between these quartz plates there is an active layer of liquid crystal material.

By applying a small voltage the filter can switch ‘on’ or ‘off’ an incident signal thus producing an electronically controllable shutter or tuneable filter. In other configurations, with the same basic construction, electronically steerable millimeter wave antennae can be fabricated.


  • Ability to switch “on” or “off” an incident millimetre wave signal
  • Electronic tuning of millimetre wave filters
  • Creation of low power, robust high frequency phased array antennae
  • Cloaking or revealing of objects to radar systems


The main applications of this technology are expected to be mainly for military and security applications such as communication and radar systems. We anticipate combined stealth and communication applications for stealthy such military UAV’s. Security applications could include the control of signal transmissions through glass windows in secure buildings.


Robert Cahill

Patent Status

An initial UK patent application (GB0505347) has been issued with a priority date of 16/03/2005, followed by PCT application WO2006/097736. The patent is granted in Europe and US.


Project part financed by the European Regional Development Fund under the European Sustainable Competitiveness Programme for Northern Ireland.


We have access to a range of potential funding mechanisms to support your business engage and exploit this IP including.

boosting-business Boosting Business through R&D is designed to help you ensure your business remains competitive and grows its market share. With support, you can invest in new products, services and processes, use design to improve your business performance, gain a better understanding of the technical, legislative and intellectual property issues you may face and access collaborative networks to access new business opportunities that might otherwise be beyond your reach.
ktp Knowledge Transfer Partnerships are based on partnerships between academic groups and companies who need access to skills and knowledge in order to innovate. The academic and industrial partners jointly devise and manage a two or three year programme to achieve the advances the company needs. This programme of work is carried out in the company by a KTP Associate and the resulting relationship can be very challenging and rewarding to all parties
qub-innovation-fund The Queen's University Belfast Innovation Fund (QUBIF) is a £1 million venture capital fund, set-up to invest in post Proof of Concept, pre-commercialisation spin-out companies. Funding rounds will be typically in the range of £50k to £200k and investments must be strongly related to the QUB research base.

Project Number

P39562, POC135
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