CENTENNIAL HONORS COLLEGE Western Illinois University Undergraduate Research Day 2016

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CENTENNIAL HONORS COLLEGE
Western Illinois University
Undergraduate Research Day 2016
PosterPresentation
TheUseofaCapacitorTunnelDiodeResonatingCircuittoMeasureMaterialProperties
OwenHuff
FacultyMentor:RyanGordon
Physics
Atunneldioderesonator(orTDR)isaspecializedcircuitthatisatunnelingdiodeconnectedtoa
capacitor-inductoroscillator.ApplyingtheproperamountofDCvoltagetothedioderesultsinan
alternatingcurrentthatsustainstheoscillationsinthetankoscillator.Theresonantfrequencycanthen
beshiftedbytheinclusionofmaterialsinthecapacitoroftheoscillatorthroughitsinteractionwiththe
electricfieldthere.Onemajorgoalofthisexperimentaltechniqueistomeasurethedielectricconstant
ofmaterials.Duetotheuseofhighprecisionelectronicinstrumentation,changesintheresonant
frequencycanbemeasuredwithparts-per-billionprecision,thusallowingthedeterminationofthe
dielectricconstantwithgreatprecision.Furthermore,byperformingtheseexperimentsatlow
temperatures(<10K)wecanfilteroutsourcesoferrorsuchasthermalmotion,andobservechangesin
materialsthatoccuronlyatlowtemperatures.Planshavebeenmadetomeasurethedielectricconstant
of(V1-xTix)O2,acrystallinematerialthatundergoesametal-insulatortransition.
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