Lecture 4: Microwave Amplifiers (1) Component focus: bipolar junction transistors (BJT) and fieldeffect transistors (FET).

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1 Lecture 4: Microwave Amplifiers (1) Component focus: bipolar junction transistors (BJT) and fieldeffect transistors (FET). The design techniques: employ the full range of concepts of microwave transmission lines, two-port networks and mith chart presentation. Heavily used -parameters: The development of -parameter matrix concepts grew from the need to characterize active devices and amplifiers in a form that recognized the need for matched termination rather than short- or open-circuit termination. Microwave amplifiers for our consideration in this lecture: mall signal so that superposition applies, ELEC518, Kevin Chen, HKUT 1 pecifications of Microwave Amplifiers: Gain (db): power gain Mismatch (or return loss, or VWR) tability: The amplifiers must not oscillate at any frequencies, for the range of source and load impedances expected. Noise figure: how much noise the amplifier adds compared to background noise. 1 db compression: the input power level where the output power deviates from linear by 1 db. Affected by bias point and supply rails. Tied to dynamic range and power consumption. -tone 3rd order intercept point (IP3): When two tones (two close frequencies ω1 and ω) are present with equal amplitudes at the input, the output exhibits an intermodulation product. IP3 is where the extrapolated 3rd order intermodulation product intersects the extrapolated linear output. Dynamic range: The difference between the maximum allowable and minimum detectable input signals. Power consumption: DC power consumption ELEC518, Kevin Chen, HKUT Modeling of Microwave Transistors and Packages Third order intermodulation output power IP3 The parameters of a given microwave transistor can be derived from transistor equivalent circuit models based on device physics, or they can be measured directly. Generally, a manufacturer of a device intended for microwave applications will provide extensive -parameter data to permit accurate design of microwave amplifiers. This can be verified by measurement, a step that has proven important on many occasions. For a bipolar junction transistor, in addition to intrinsic device parameters such as base resistance and collector-base capacitance, amplifier performance is strongly affected by the so-called parasitic elements associated with the device package, including base-lead and emitter-lead inductance internal to the package. imilar considerations apply to microwave field-effect transistors. The magnitude and phase angle of each of the parameters typically vary with frequency, and characterization over the complete range of interest is necessary. Dynamic range of a realistic amplifier ELEC518, Kevin Chen, HKUT 3 The parameters also typically vary with bias. For large-signal applications, bias-dependent parameters need to be characterized and modeled. ELEC518, Kevin Chen, HKUT 4

2 ELEC518, Kevin Chen, HKUT 5 ELEC518, Kevin Chen, HKUT 6 Features of interests for RF active devices: (1) Maximum power gain bandwidth () Minimum noise figure (3) Maximum power-added efficiency (4) Low thermal resistance (5) High temperature of operation and reliability (6) Low on-resistance/high off-resistance (7) High linearity (8) Low power dissipation (9) Low leakage current under cut-off operation (10) Low 1/f noise (11) Multifunctionality (1) Low single power supply (13) emi-insulating substrate (14) Mature technology How do RFICs/MMICs look like? (15) Low cost ELEC518, Kevin Chen, HKUT 7 ELEC518, Kevin Chen, HKUT 8

3 GaAs MEFET Gate barrier is formed by the chottcky contact between the gate metal and doped GaAs Higher operating frequency are achieved as a result of the higher electron mobility of GaAs compared to that of ilicon. An example of component values for a GaAs MEFET -parameter characteristics of a GaAs MEFET Cross section of a typical GaAs MEFET Intrinsic small-signal equivalent circuit Packaged MEFET model needs to include parasitics, such as series resistance and inductance at each terminal. ELEC518, Kevin Chen, HKUT 9 1 > 1 : 1 Representing the gain 1 is solely determined by C gd, which is usually very small. In this case, the device is said to be unilateral, and 1 0 ELEC518, Kevin Chen, HKUT 10 Unilateral current-gain cutoff frequency, f T hort-circuit (at output) current gain under the unilateral condition is defined as G sc i I I d g gmvc I g g ωc f T is defined as the upper frequency limit when the short-circuit current gain is unity. gm ft πc DC characteristics gs Biasing and decoupling circuit m gs The choice of DC biasing points depends on the application (lownoise, high-gain, high-power), the class of the amplifier (class A, class B, class AB). DC bias voltage must be applied to the gate and drain, without disturbing the RF signal paths. The input and output decoupling capacitors are needed to block DC from the input and output lines. ELEC518, Kevin Chen, HKUT 11 ELEC518, Kevin Chen, HKUT 1

4 Figure of merit: The maximum available gain (MAG) Physical layout of a MEFET. f MAG f Where, T gs 4R / R ds R Rg + Ri + R gm ft πc 1 + 4π f C ( R + R + πf L ) T + πf gd T L g T ELEC518, Kevin Chen, HKUT 13 ELEC518, Kevin Chen, HKUT 14 This shows that MAG rolls of by 6 db/octave. The frequency at which MAG is unity signifies the maximum frequency of operation and is given by, f 1/ [ 4R / R + 4πf C ( R + R + πf L ] max ft ds T gd g T ) i bipolar transistor (BJT) Current driven I e [ exp( qv / ) 1] I kt be ELEC518, Kevin Chen, HKUT 15 ELEC518, Kevin Chen, HKUT 16

5 g f I q c m α0 e Vbe kt max f T ft 8πr C 1 πτ b ec C I Ie( ma) 6 τ ec : the transit time, or the delay time from the emitter to collector Preferred over GaAs FETs at frequencies below to 4GHz (may not be true anymore) mall-signal equivalent circuit for a microwave bipolar transistor Typical component values f T is given by f T gm πc π ELEC518, Kevin Chen, HKUT 17 ELEC518, Kevin Chen, HKUT 18 Heterostructure Field-Effect Transistors (HFETs) High electron mobility transistor (HEMT) or Modulated doped FET (MODFET): for high carrier mobilities and speed Heterojunction bipolar transistors (HBT) Key advantage: Higher emitter injection efficiency The doping profile of HBT Energy band diagram of HBT ELEC518, Kevin Chen, HKUT 19 ELEC518, Kevin Chen, HKUT 0

6 ige HBT Two-port network for amplifier analysis Pick your position! But be flexible. Objective: try to derive parameter expressions in terms of the -parameter of the network. Power Gain G, Available Gain G A, Transducer Gain G T : G P L power delivered to the load P in power input to the network G A P avout P av s G T P L P av s power available from the network power available from the source power delivered to the load power available from the source ELEC518, Kevin Chen, HKUT 1 ELEC518, Kevin Chen, HKUT When the input and output are both conjugately matched to the twoport, all the gains are maximized and G G A G T. Definitions of Γ L, Γ s, Γ in and Γ out : Γ L Z L - Z o Z L + Z o, the reflection coefficient of the load Γ s Z s - Z o Z s + Z o, the reflection coefficient of the source Γ in Z in - Z o Z in + Z o Γ L 1- Γ L, the input reflection coefficient Γ out Z out - Z o Z out + Z Γ s, the output reflection coefficient o 1-11 Γ s A typical -parameter table for a GaAs FET f GHz /-89.86/ / / / / / / /-14.39/ /-6 0.7/-68 ELEC518, Kevin Chen, HKUT 3 Power Gain Equations The equations for the various power gain definitions are 1) G P L 1 P in 1 - lγ in l l 1 l 1 - lγ L l l1 - Γ L l ) G A P avout P av s 3) G T P L P av s 1 - lγ s l l1-11 Γ s l l 1 l lγ out l 1 - lγ s l l1 - Γ in Γ s l l 1 l 1 - lγ L l l1 - Γ L l 1 - lγ s l l1-11 Γ s l l 1 l 1 - lγ L l l1 - Γ out Γ L l Read page of Pozar for the derivation. ELEC518, Kevin Chen, HKUT 4

7 For a unilateral network, 1 0 and 1) Γ in 11 if 1 0 (unilateral network) ) Γ out if 1 0 (unilateral network) We can then define the unilateral transducer power gain, G TU, which is given by 1 ( 1 Γ )( 1 ΓL ) GTU 1 Γ 1 Γ 11 L Model of a single-stage microwave transistor amplifier Z o Input Matching Circuit G s Γ s Transistor [] G o Γ in Γ out Γ L Output Matching Circuit G L The transducer gain G T can be expressed as the product of three gain contributions G T G s G o G L, where G o l 1 l, G s 1 - lγ s l 1 - lγ L l l1 - Γ in Γ s l and G L l1 - Γ L l Z o ELEC518, Kevin Chen, HKUT 5 ELEC518, Kevin Chen, HKUT 6 For a unilateral network, 1 0 and 1) Γ in 11 if 1 0 (unilateral network) ) Γ out if 1 0 (unilateral network) If the device is unilateral, or sufficiently unilateral so that 1 is small enough to be ignored, the unilateral transducer gain G TU is simplified because G su G TU 1 1 ( 1 Γ )( 1 ΓL ) 11Γ lγ s l l1-11 Γ s l, where the subscript U indicates unilateral gain. In practice, the difference between G T and G TU is often quite small, as it is desirable for devices to be unilateral if possible. Γ L The components of G TU can also be expressed in decibel form, so that G TU (db) G s (db) + G o (db) + G L (db). We can maximize G s and G L by setting Γ s 11 * and Γ L * so that G s max l 11 l and G L max l l, so that G TU max l 11 l l 1 l l l Note that, if l 11 l1 or l l1, G TU max is infinite. This raises the question of stability, which will be examined next. ELEC518, Kevin Chen, HKUT 7 ELEC518, Kevin Chen, HKUT 8

8 tability In a two-port network, oscillations are possible if the magnitude of either the input or output reflection coefficient is greater than unity, which is equivalent to presenting a negative resistance at the port. This instability is characterized by lγ in l > 1 or lγ out l > 1, which for a unilateral device implies l 11 l > 1 or l l > 1. These are defined by circles, called stability circles, that delimit lγ in l 1 and lγ out l 1 on the mith chart. The radius and center of the output and input stability circles are derived from the parameters on (see pg of Pozar). Output stability circle Thus the requirements for stability are lγ in l l Γ L 1- Γ L l < 1 and lγ out l l Γ s 1-11 Γ s l < 1 ELEC518, Kevin Chen, HKUT 9 Where, Input stability circle ELEC518, Kevin Chen, HKUT 30 table and unstable regions in the Γ L plane load stability circle table and unstable regions in the Γ plane ource stability circle ELEC518, Kevin Chen, HKUT 31 ELEC518, Kevin Chen, HKUT 3

9 tability Consideration: Unconditional stable condition: K > 1 and l l < 1, where, the determinant of the scattering matrix, is Conditionally stable: K < 1, operating points for Γ and Γ L must be chosen in the stable region, and it is good practice to check the stability at several frequencies near the design frequency. Practical microwave transistors: unconditionally stable or potentially unstable with K < 1 and < 1. In potentially unstable transistors, most of the practical values of K are such that 0 < K < source and load stability circles intersect the boundary of the mith chart. If -1 < K < 0, most region of the mith chart is unstable. ome transistor configurations (e.g. some CB configurations) used in oscillator designs are potentially unstable with negative values of K. In the potentially unstable situations, the real part of the input and output impedances can be negative for some source and load reflection coefficients. ELEC518, Kevin Chen, HKUT 33 ELEC518, Kevin Chen, HKUT 34 Example: olutions: conditionally stable at 500 MHz and 1GHz, unconditionally stable at GHz and 4 GHz. Input stability circles output stability circles ELEC518, Kevin Chen, HKUT 35 ELEC518, Kevin Chen, HKUT 36

10 Resistive loading and negative feedback: improve stability Even when the selection of Γ L and Γ produces unstable operation, the circuit can be made stable if the total input and output loop resistance is positive Re( Z s Z ) > 0 + in and Re( Z L Z ) > 0 + out Adding a resistive load or adding negative feedback. Example: using a resistive loading to stabilize a potentially unstable transistor Not recommended in narrowband amplifiers because of the resulting degradation in power gain, noise figure, and VWRs. Narrowband amplifier design with potentially unstable transistors is best done by the proper selection of Γ L and Γ to ensure stability. ELEC518, Kevin Chen, HKUT 37 ELEC518, Kevin Chen, HKUT 38 All four choices of resistive loading affect the gain performance of the amplifier. In practice, resistive loading at the input is not used because it produces a significant deterioration in the noise performance of the amplifier. hunt resistor loading at the output produces the most acceptable trade-off between gain and stability and is most used in practice. ELEC518, Kevin Chen, HKUT 39

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