Academic Appointments

Honors & Awards

  • Tau Beta Pi Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, Stanford University (June 2016)
  • Best Paper Award, IEEE Conference on Biomedical Wireless Technologies, Networks, and Sensing Systems (2016)
  • Best Paper Award, Progress in Electromagnetic Research Symposium (PIERS) (2015)
  • NSF CAREER Award, National Science Foundation (2015)
  • Best Paper Award, IEEE VLSI Circuits Symposium (2014)
  • Faculty Research Award, Google (2014)
  • Young Faculty Award (YFA), DARPA (2014)
  • Best Paper Award, IEEE International Conference in Ultra-Wideband (2013)
  • Hellman Faculty Scholar, Hellman Family Faculty Fund; Stanford University (2013)
  • School of Engineering Terman Fellow, Stanford University (2012)
  • Best Paper Award (2nd Place), IEEE Radio Frequency Integrated Circuits (RFIC) Symposium (2011)
  • Jack Kilby Outstanding Student Paper Award, IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference (2010)
  • Best Paper Award (2nd Place), IEEE Radio Frequency Integrated Circuits (RFIC) Symposium (2008)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations

  • Associate Editor, IEEE Solid-State Circuits Letters (2018 - Present)
  • Associate Editor, IEEE Journal of Electromagnetics, RF and Microwaves in Medicine and Biology (2017 - Present)
  • Member of steering committee, IEEE RFIC Symposium (2017 - Present)

Program Affiliations

  • SystemX

Professional Education

  • BSc, Sharif University of Technology, Electrical Engineering (2005)
  • MSc, UC Berkeley, Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences (2007)
  • PhD, UC Berkeley, Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences (2011)

Current Research and Scholarly Interests

My group's research covers circuit and system design for (1) biomedical, (2) sensing, and (3) Internet of Things (IoT) applications.

On the biomedical front we explore the design of emerging and hybrid medical imaging modalities and investigate new technologies for wireless implants, including ultrasonic power and data links.

Our work in sensing includes methods to enable next-generation interfaces (e.g., radar system design for human-computer interfaces), as well as methods of remote detection and imaging.

In the IoT area, we work on architectural solutions that enable radically miniaturized sensors for a trillion-sensor (tera-scale) future, including wireless power and wake-up radios. On the other end of the IoT space, we also work on next-generation extremely-high-throughput wireless and wireline “pipelines” that facilitate information flow on the network.

Stanford Advisees

All Publications

  • End-to-End Design of Efficient Ultrasonic Power Links for Scaling Towards Submillimeter Implantable Receivers IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON BIOMEDICAL CIRCUITS AND SYSTEMS Chang, T., Weber, M. J., Charthad, J., Baltsavias, S., Arbabian, A. 2018; 12 (5): 1100–1111


    We present an analytical framework for optimizing the efficiency of ultrasonic wireless power links for implantable devices scaled down to sub-mm dimensions. Key design insights and tradeoffs are considered for various parameters including the operating frequency, the transmission depth, the size of the transmitter, the impedance and the aperture efficiency of the miniaturized receiver, and the interface between the receiver and the power recovery chain on the implant. The performance of spherically focused transducers as ultrasonic transmitters is analyzed to study the limits and the tradeoffs. Two optimization methods are presented: "Focal Peak" sets the focus of transducers at target depths, and "Global Maximum" maximizes the efficiency globally with off-focus operation. The results are also compared to phased array implementations. To investigate the efficiency of implants, miniaturized receivers made from single crystalline piezoelectric material, PMN-PT, are used as they have resonances in the derived optimal carrier frequency range (∼1-2 MHz). A methodology to achieve an efficient interface to the power electronics is then provided using an optogenetic stimulator as an example platform. The analytical results are verified through both simulations and measurements. Finally, an example ultrasonic link using a spherical transmitter with a radius of 2 cm is demonstrated; link efficiencies of 1.93-0.23% are obtained at 6-10 cm depths with sub-mm receivers for the optogenetic application.

    View details for DOI 10.1109/TBCAS.2018.2871470

    View details for Web of Science ID 000448529300001

    View details for PubMedID 30235147

  • Long-term in vivo performance of novel ultrasound powered implantable devices. Conference proceedings : ... Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. Annual Conference Kang, C., Chang, T. C., Vo, J., Charthad, J., Weber, M., Arbabian, A., Vasudevan, S. 2018; 2018: 2985–88


    Neuromodulation devices have been approved for the treatment of epilepsy and seizures, with many other applications currently under research investigation. These devices rely on implanted battery powered pulse generators, that require replacement over time. Miniaturized ultrasound powered implantable devices have the potential to eliminate the need for batteries in neuromodulation devices. While these devices have been assessed in vitro, long-term in vivo assessment is required to determine device safety and performance. In this study, we developed a multi-stage long-term test platform to assess the performance of miniaturized ultrasound powered implantable devices.

    View details for DOI 10.1109/EMBC.2018.8512978

    View details for PubMedID 30441025

  • Thermal analysis of ultrasound-powered miniaturized implants: A tissue-phantom study. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America Walden, C., Soneson, J., Weber, M. J., Charthad, J., Chia Chang, T., Arbabian, A., Myers, M. 2018; 143 (6): 3373


    Neurological implants that harvest ultrasound power have the potential to provide long-term stimulation without complications associated with battery power. An important safety question associated with long-term operation of the implant involves the heat generated by the interaction of the device with the ultrasound field. A study was performed in which the temperature rise generated by this interaction was measured. Informed by temperature data from thermocouples outside the ultrasound beam, a mathematical inverse method was used to determine the volume heat source generated by ultrasound absorption within the implant as well as the surface heat source generated within the viscous boundary layer on the surface of the implant. For the test implant used, it was determined that most of the heat was generated in the boundary layer, giving a maximum temperature rise 5 times that for absorption in an equivalent volume of soft tissue. This result illustrates that thermal safety guidelines based solely on ultrasound absorption of tissue alone are not sufficient. The method presented represents an alternative approach for quantifying ultrasound thermal effects in the presence of implants. The analysis shows a steady temperature rise of about 0.2°C for every 100 mW/cm2 for the presented test implant.

    View details for DOI 10.1121/1.5040470

    View details for PubMedID 29960486

  • A mm-Sized Wireless Implantable Device for Electrical Stimulation of Peripheral Nerves IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON BIOMEDICAL CIRCUITS AND SYSTEMS Charthad, J., Chang, T., Liu, Z., Sawaby, A., Weber, M. J., Baker, S., Gore, F., Felt, S. A., Arbabian, A. 2018; 12 (2): 257–70


    A wireless electrical stimulation implant for peripheral nerves, achieving >10× improvement over state of the art in the depth/volume figure of merit, is presented. The fully integrated implant measures just 2 mm × 3 mm × 6.5 mm (39 mm3, 78 mg), and operates at a large depth of 10.5 cm in a tissue phantom. The implant is powered using ultrasound and includes a miniaturized piezoelectric receiver (piezo), an IC designed in 180 nm HV BCD process, an off-chip energy storage capacitor, and platinum stimulation electrodes. The package also includes an optional blue light-emitting diode for potential applications in optogenetic stimulation in the future. A system-level design strategy for complete operation of the implant during the charging transient of the storage capacitor, as well as a unique downlink command/data transfer protocol, is presented. The implant enables externally programmable current-controlled stimulation of peripheral nerves, with a wide range of stimulation parameters, both for electrical (22 to 5000 μA amplitude, ∼14 to 470 μs pulse-width, 0 to 60 Hz repetition rate) and optical (up to 23 mW/mm2 optical intensity) stimulation. Additionally, the implant achieves 15 V compliance voltage for chronic applications. Full integration of the implant components, end-to-end in vitro system characterizations, and results for the electrical stimulation of a sciatic nerve, demonstrate the feasibility and efficacy of the proposed stimulator for peripheral nerves.

    View details for DOI 10.1109/TBCAS.2018.2799623

    View details for Web of Science ID 000428547600001

    View details for PubMedID 29578414

  • Wireless Data Links for Next-Generation Networked Micro-Implantables Proc. 2018 IEEE Custom Integrated Circuits Conference Wang, M. L., Baltsavias, S., Chang, T., Weber, M. J., Arbabian, A.
  • Scaling of Ultrasound-Powered Receivers for Sub-Millimeter Wireless Implants IEEE Biomedical Circuits and Systems Conference (BioCAS) Chang, T., Weber, M. J., Charthad, J., Baltsavias, S., Arbabian, A.
  • A mm-sized wireless implantable device for electrical stimulation of peripheral nerves IEEE Trans. Biomedical Circuits and Systems Charthad, J. 2018
  • A 14.5mm(2) 8nW-59.7dBm-Sensitivity Ultrasonic Wake-Up Receiver for Power-, Area-, and Interference-Constrained Applications Rekhi, A., Arbabian, A., IEEE IEEE. 2018
  • Wireless Data Links for Next-Generation Networked Micro-Implantables Wang, M. L., Baltsavias, S., Chang, T., Weber, M. J., Charthad, J., Arbabian, A., IEEE IEEE. 2018
  • Microwave-Induced Thermoacoustic Imaging of Subcutaneous Vasculature With Near-Field RF Excitation IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON MICROWAVE THEORY AND TECHNIQUES Aliroteh, M. S., Arbabian, A. 2018; 66 (1): 577–88
  • A miniaturized single-transducer implantable pressure sensor with time-multiplexed ultrasonic data and power links IEEE J. Solid-State Circuits Weber, M., Yoshihara, Y., Sawaby, A., Charthad, J., Chang, T., Arbabian, A. 2018
  • Ball Grid Array Module With Integrated Shaped Lens for 5G Backhaul/Fronthaul Communications in F-Band IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ANTENNAS AND PROPAGATION Bisognin, A., Nachahe, N., Luxey, C., Gianesello, F., Gloria, D., Costa, J. R., Fernandes, C. A., Alvarez, Y., Arboleya-Arboleya, A., Laviada, J., Las-Heras, F., Dolatsha, N., Grave, B., Sawaby, M., Arbabian, A. 2017; 65 (12): 6380–94
  • Wireless Power Transfer to Millimeter-Sized Nodes Using Airborne Ultrasound IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ULTRASONICS FERROELECTRICS AND FREQUENCY CONTROL Rekhi, A. S., Khuri-Yakub, B. T., Arbabian, A. 2017; 64 (10): 1526–41


    We propose the use of airborne ultrasound for wireless power transfer to mm-sized nodes, with intended application in the next generation of the Internet of Things (IoT). We show through simulation that ultrasonic power transfer can deliver 50 [Formula: see text] to a mm-sized node 0.88 m away from a ~ 50-kHz, 25-cm2 transmitter array, with the peak pressure remaining below recommended limits in air, and with load power increasing with transmitter area. We report wireless power recovery measurements with a precharged capacitive micromachined ultrasonic transducer, demonstrating a load power of 5 [Formula: see text] at a simulated distance of 1.05 m. We present aperture efficiency, dynamic range, and bias-free operation as key metrics for the comparison of transducers meant for wireless power recovery. We also argue that long-range wireless charging at the watt level is extremely challenging with existing technology and regulations. Finally, we compare our acoustic powering system with cutting edge electromagnetically powered nodes and show that ultrasound has many advantages over RF as a vehicle for power delivery. Our work sets the foundation for further research into ultrasonic wireless power transfer for the IoT.

    View details for DOI 10.1109/TUFFC.2017.2737620

    View details for Web of Science ID 000412634700010

    View details for PubMedID 28796616

  • Exploiting spatial degrees of freedom for high data rate ultrasound communication with implantable devices APPLIED PHYSICS LETTERS Wang, M. L., Arbabian, A. 2017; 111 (13)

    View details for DOI 10.1063/1.5004967

    View details for Web of Science ID 000412074000042

  • Remote sub-wavelength focusing of ultrasonically activated Lorentz current APPLIED PHYSICS LETTERS Rekhi, A. S., Arbabian, A. 2017; 110 (16)

    View details for DOI 10.1063/1.4981906

    View details for Web of Science ID 000399984200068

  • Capsule Ultrasound Device: Characterization and Testing Results Wang, J., Memon, F., Touma, G., Baltsavias, S., Jang, J., Chang, C., Rasmussen, M., Olcott, E., Jeffrey, R., Arbabian, A., Khuri-Yakub, B. T., IEEE IEEE. 2017
  • Communication with Crystal-Free Radios Shaviv, D., Ozgur, A., Arbabian, A., IEEE IEEE. 2017
  • Closed-Loop Ultrasonic Power and Communication with Multiple Miniaturized Active Implantable Medical Devices Wang, M. L., Chang, T., Teisberg, T., Weber, M. J., Charthad, J., Arbabian, A., IEEE IEEE. 2017
  • A High-Precision 36 mm(3) Programmable Implantable Pressure Sensor with Fully Ultrasonic Power-up and Data Link Weber, M. J., Yoshihara, Y., Sawaby, A., Charthad, J., Chang, T., Garland, R., Arbabian, A., IEEE IEEE. 2017: C104–C105
  • Sound Technologies, Sound Bodies IEEE MICROWAVE MAGAZINE Arbabian, A., Chang, T. C., Wang, M. L., Charthad, J., Baltsavias, S., Fallahpour, M., Weber, M. J. 2016; 17 (12): 39-54
  • Design of Tunable Ultrasonic Receivers for Efficient Powering of Implantable Medical Devices With Reconfigurable Power Loads IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ULTRASONICS FERROELECTRICS AND FREQUENCY CONTROL Chang, T. C., Weber, M. J., Wang, M. L., Charthad, J., Khuri-Yakub, B. (., Arbabian, A. 2016; 63 (10): 1554-1562


    Miniaturized ultrasonic receivers are designed for efficient powering of implantable medical devices with reconfigurable power loads. Design parameters that affect the efficiency of these receivers under highly variable load conditions, including piezoelectric material, geometry, and operation frequency, are investigated. Measurements were performed to characterize electrical impedance and acoustic-to-electrical efficiency of ultrasonic receivers for off-resonance operation. Finally, we propose, analyze, and demonstrate adaptive matching and frequency tuning techniques using two different reconfigurable matching networks for typical implant loads from 10 [Formula: see text] to 1 mW. Both simulations and measurements show a significant increase in total implant efficiency (up to 50 percentage points) over this load power range when operating off-resonance with the proposed matching networks.

    View details for DOI 10.1109/TUFFC.2016.2606655

    View details for Web of Science ID 000385720000008

    View details for PubMedID 27623580

  • Loss and Dispersion Limitations in mm-Wave Dielectric Waveguides for High-Speed Links IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON TERAHERTZ SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY Dolatsha, N., Chen, C., Arbabian, A. 2016; 6 (4): 637-640
  • System-Level Analysis of Far-Field Radio Frequency Power Delivery for mm-Sized Sensor Nodes IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON CIRCUITS AND SYSTEMS I-REGULAR PAPERS Charthad, J., Dolatsha, N., Rekhi, A., Arbabian, A. 2016; 63 (2): 300-311
  • Fully packaged millimetre-wave dielectric waveguide with multimodal excitation ELECTRONICS LETTERS Dolatsha, N., Saiz, N., Arbabian, A. 2015; 51 (17): 1339-1340
  • A mm-Sized Implantable Medical Device (IMD) With Ultrasonic Power Transfer and a Hybrid Bi-Directional Data Link IEEE JOURNAL OF SOLID-STATE CIRCUITS Charthad, J., Weber, M. J., Chang, T. C., Arbabian, A. 2015; 50 (8): 1741-1753
  • A Power-Harvesting Pad-Less Millimeter-Sized Radio IEEE JOURNAL OF SOLID-STATE CIRCUITS Tabesh, M., Dolatsha, N., Arbabian, A., Niknejad, A. M. 2015; 50 (4): 962-977
  • Non-contact thermoacoustic detection of embedded targets using airborne-capacitive micromachined ultrasonic transducers APPLIED PHYSICS LETTERS Nan, H., Boyle, K. C., Apte, N., Aliroteh, M. S., Bhuyan, A., Nikoozadeh, A., Khuri-Yakub, B. T., Arbabian, A. 2015; 106 (8)

    View details for DOI 10.1063/1.4909508

    View details for Web of Science ID 000350546600091

  • Stepped-frequency continuous-wave microwave-induced thermoacoustic imaging APPLIED PHYSICS LETTERS Nan, H., Arbabian, A. 2014; 104 (22)

    View details for DOI 10.1063/1.4879841

    View details for Web of Science ID 000337161700093

  • Frequency-modulated magneto-acoustic detection and imaging ELECTRONICS LETTERS Aliroteh, M. S., Scott, G., Arbabian, A. 2014; 50 (11): 790-791
  • mm-Wave Silicon: Smarter, Faster, and Cheaper Communication and Imaging. Frequency References, Power Management for SoC, and Smart Wireless Interfaces Niknejad, Ali, M., Arbabian, A., Callender, S., Chen, J., Chien, J., Kang, S. Springer International Publishing. 2014: 281–295
  • Segmentation and Artifact Removal in Microwave-Induced Thermoacoustic Imaging 36th Annual International Conference of the IEEE-Engineering-in-Medicine-and-Biology-Society (EMBC) Nan, H., Chou, T., Arbabian, A. IEEE. 2014: 4747–4750


    Microwave-induced thermoacoustic (TA) imaging combines the soft-tissue dielectric contrast of microwave excitation with the resolution of ultrasound for the goal of a safe, high resolution, and possibly portable imaging technique. However, the hybrid nature of this method introduces new image-reconstruction challenges in enabling sufficient accuracy and segmentation. In this paper, we propose a segmentation technique based on the polarity characteristic of TA signals. A wavelet analysis based method is proposed to identify reflection artifacts as well. The time-frequency feature of the signal is used to assist differentiating artifacts. Ex vivo verification with experimental data is also provided.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000350044704184

    View details for PubMedID 25571053

  • A 135GHz SiGe Transmitter With A Dielectric Rod Antenna-In-Package For High EIRP/Channel Arrays 36th Annual IEEE Custom Integrated Circuits Conference (CICC) - The Showcase for Integrated Circuit Design in the Heart of Silicon Valley Saiz, N., Dolatsha, N., Arbabian, A. IEEE. 2014
  • A mm-Sized Implantable Device with Ultrasonic Energy Transfer and RF Data Uplink for High-Power Applications 36th Annual IEEE Custom Integrated Circuits Conference (CICC) - The Showcase for Integrated Circuit Design in the Heart of Silicon Valley Charthad, J., Weber, M. J., Chang, T. C., Saadat, M., Arbabian, A. IEEE. 2014
  • A 94 GHz mm-Wave-to-Baseband Pulsed-Radar Transceiver with Applications in Imaging and Gesture Recognition Symposium on VLSI Circuits held its 26th Meeting on State-of-the-Art Topics important to VLSI Circuit and System Designers, as well as Device and Process Technology Experts Arbabian, A., Callender, S., Kang, S., Rangwala, M., Niknejad, A. M. IEEE-INST ELECTRICAL ELECTRONICS ENGINEERS INC. 2013: 1055–71
  • Analysis and Design of a Multi-mode Dielectric Waveguide Interconnect with Planar Excitation Dolatsha, N., Arbabian, A. 2013
  • Dielectric Waveguide with Planar Multi-Mode Excitation for High Data-Rate Chip-to-Chip Interconnects Dolatsha, N., Arbabian, A. 2013
  • A Three-Stage Cascaded Distributed Amplifier with GBW Exceeding 1.5THz IEEE Radio Frequency Integrated Circuits Symposium (RFIC) Arbabian, A., Niknejad, A. 2012: 211-214
  • A 94GHz mm-wave to baseband pulsed-radar for imaging and gesture recognition. In VLSI Circuits (VLSIC) Arbabian, A., Kang, S., Callender, S., Chien, J., Afshar, B., Niknejad, A. 2012: 56-57
  • 60GHz Low-Loss Compact Phase Shifters Using A Lumped Element Hybrid CICC Tabesh, M., Arbabian, A., Niknejad, A. 2011
  • Time-Domain Ultra-Wideband Synthetic Imager (TUSI) in Silicon 33rd Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering-in-Medicine-and-Biology-Society (EMBS) Arbabian, A., Niknejad, A. M. IEEE. 2011: 505–511


    This paper introduces a silicon-based imaging array for remote measurements of complex permittivity of tissue. Using a coherent pulsed measurement approach, this time-frequency resolved technique recovers the three dimensional mapping of electrical properties of the subject in the microwave/millimeter-wave frequency spectrum. Some of the major challenges in the design of the system are described. Initial measurement results from the prototype high-resolution transmitter fabricated in a 0.13 μm SiGe process are described. The transmitter achieves pulse widths suitable for millimeter-level accuracy imaging.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000298810000122

    View details for PubMedID 22254359

  • A 90GHz Pulsed-Transmitter with Near-Field/Far-Field Energy Cancellation using a Dual-Loop Antenna Arbabian, A., Kang, S., Callender, S., Afshar, B., Chien, J., Niknejad, A. 2011
  • A 90 GHz Hybrid Switching Pulsed-Transmitter for Medical Imaging IEEE JOURNAL OF SOLID-STATE CIRCUITS Arbabian, A., Callender, S., Kang, S., Afshar, B., Chien, J., Niknejad, A. M. 2010; 45 (12): 2667-2681
  • A 90GHz Carrier 30GHz Bandwidth Hybrid Switching Transmitter with Integrated Antenna ISSCC 2010 Digest of Teach. Arbabian, et. al., A. 2010: 420-421
  • A 90nm CMOS Low-Power 60GHz Transceiver with Integrated Baseband Circuitry IEEE Journal of Solid State Circuits Marcu, C., Chowdhury, D., Thakkar, C., Park, J., Kong, L., Tabesh, M., Arbabian, A. 2009; 44 (12): 3434-3447
  • A 90nm CMOS Low-Power 60GH Transceiver with Integrated Baseband Circuitry ISSCC 2010 Digest of Tech. Papers Marcu, C., Chowdhury, D., Thakkar, C., Kong, L., Tabesh, M., Park, J., Arbabian, A. 2009: 314-315
  • Design of a CMOS Tapered Cascaded Multistage Distributed Amplifier IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques Arbabian, A., Niknejad, A., M. 2009; 57 (4): 938-947
  • A Tapered Cascaded Multi-Stage Distributed Amplifier with 370GHz GBW in 90nm CMOS Arbabian, A., Niknejad, A., M. 2008
  • A Broadband Distributed Amplifier with Internal Feedback Providing 660GHz GBW in 90nm CMOS ISSCC 2008 Digest of Tech. Papers Arbabian, A., Niknejad, A., M. 2008: 196-197
  • A 60-GHz 90- nm CMOS Cascode Amplifier with Interstage Matching Heydari, B., Reynaert, P., Adabi, E., Bohsali, M., Afshar, B., Arbabian, A. 2007
  • Internal Unilaterization Technique for CMOS mm-Wave Amplifiers Heydari, B., Adabi, E., Bohsali, M., Afshar, B., Arbabian, A., Niknejad, A., M. 2007
  • The Optimizations of PRF Staggering in a MTI Radar Arbabian, A., Bastani, M., H., Tabesh, M. 2005
  • Rural Telecommunications in Iran: A Hybrid Solution Tabesh, M., Arbabian, A., Javaheri, H., Jalali, A. 2005