Microwave Antenna Device and Systems Lab
Wonbin Hong (Electrical Engineering)
Communications technology is evolving at an astonishing speed: we have already acclimated to the presence of 5G wireless communication technology, and discussions are now underway to develop 6G technology. The fact of the matter, however, is that 5G technology has not yet reached the tipping point for the general public to fully realize the benefits of such a rapid evolution of communications technology. Any innovative technology must endure numerous trials and errors, along with accumulated experience, to create a large enough impact for people to readily notice it in their daily lives. This whole process certainly does not happen overnight, and thus means we must wait some time before we overcome any future limitations.
The Microwave Antenna, Device and System Laboratory (MADs Lab) headed by Professor Wonbin Hong at the Department of Electrical Engineering at POSTECH, engages in research to reduce the wait times in overcoming such limitations. The Lab studies electromagnetic waves, which are at the core of communications technology, from microwaves and millimeter waves to terahertz frequency waves. This aids in elucidating on the methods to deliver 5G and 6G wireless communication, energy transmission and sensing as well as their theoretical backgrounds.
The MADs Lab has engineered a number of novel mobile antennas that are applicable to millimeter wave 5G communication and have reached the commercialization phase. Millimeter waves occupy the frequency spectrum of 30 to 300 GHz and the wavelength ranges of between 1 to 10mm. Their broad bandwidths help increase transmission speeds, but also quickly weaken electromagnetic waves to reduce the data transmission distance. One possible solution to this issue is to develop an antenna capable of detecting even very faint signals.
One great example of such a solution is the antenna-on-display (AoD). The AoD inserts micro-sized electrodes 1/50th to 1/100th the thickness of a human strand of hair into the display device. This novel solution leverages the whole area of a device as an antenna while remaining optically invisible. The AoD was adopted for the Samsung Electronics smartwatch back in 2016, and was recently demonstrated for Samsung, Apple and LG Electronics 5G smartphones. The relevant research conducted by Professor Hong earned him the Scientist of the Month Award granted by the Ministry of Science and ICT last August.
The motto of the MADs Lab is to ‘rise up to meet difficult yet critical research challenges’. The Lab is armed with antenna and electromagnetic wave research facilities that are touted as being among the top three in the field of microwave research. As a first in the history of antenna-related academic conferences hosted by the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), students at the Lab have received top awards for their research papers across 3 major conferences, which were all based on varying reseach topics. Professor Hong proudly pinpoints the innovative spirit of his students as the single greatest asset of the Lab.
Head of Lab
LG Cooperative Electronics Engineering Building 210