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El-Ghazaly expands next-gen wireless accessibility with NSF CAREER Award

Making next-generation wireless systems more accessible worldwide is the focus of a National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award received by Amal El-Ghazaly, assistant professor in Cornell’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Amal El-Ghazaly, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, in her Duffield Hall laboratory.

El-Ghazaly’s proposal is titled “Harnessing Ferri- and Antiferro-Magnetism for Reconfigurable Wireless Transceivers.”

Enabling 5G and 6G wireless systems to accommodate more simultaneous users and remain sufficiently versatile for worldwide communications, transceivers need to be able to handle more communication bands and tune between them.

Full integration of reconfigurable transceiver frontends requires both tunable electric and tunable magnetic components. To date, only integrated electric components are tunable. El-Ghazaly’s research aims to fill the critical gap in wireless capabilities by creating tunable microwave and millimeter-wave magnetic components.

“This work enables the complete integration and miniaturization of adaptive microwave and mm-wave transceivers to provide widespread access to 5G and 6G wireless technology,” El-Ghazaly said. “Our reconfigurable transceivers will increase the capabilities of sensing systems, medicine, and agriculture, and broaden access to quality education, thereby improving the standard of living worldwide.”

Components will take the form of tunable microwave inductors and tunable resonant waveguides using monolithically-integrated magnetoelectric thin films. The uniquely-designed magnetoelectric thin films will provide direct in situ and simultaneous control over the permeability and permittivity at much higher frequencies than previously achievable in order to efficiently tune the resonance frequency while maintaining minimal insertion and return loss.

In addition to the research innovations pursued in this CAREER project, the education portion of the effort focuses on enabling and ensuring that future innovations can blossom from a more diverse and integrated society by nurturing students from all backgrounds so that they can fully participate in and contribute to engineering.

“This proposal represents a true labor of love for me,” El-Ghazaly said. “This research topic has so much potential for impact on society and technology through telecommunications. The education efforts will allow me to work with our community, our students, and youth – even those currently incarcerated – to make a lasting and enriching change for the betterment of all of our futures.”

The CAREER Award is the National Science Foundation's most prestigious award in support of early-career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization.

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