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Device and design optimization for AlGaN/GaN X-band-power-amplifiers with high efficiency

: Kühn, J.; Raay, F. van; Quay, R.; Kiefer, R.; Mikulla, M.; Seelmann-Eggebert, M.; Bronner, W.; Schlechtweg, M.; Ambacher, O.; Thumm, M.


Journal of infrared, millimeter, and terahertz waves 31 (2010), No.3, pp.367-379
ISSN: 1866-6892
ISSN: 1866-6906
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IAF ()
amplifier; HEMT; gallium compound; power amplifier; microstrip; MMIC

The design, realization and characterization of dual-stage X-band high-power and highly-efficient monolithic microwave integrated circuit (MMIC) power amplifiers (PAs) with AlGaN/GaN high electronic mobility transistors (HEMTs) is presented. These high power amplifiers (HPAs) are based on a precise investigation of circuit-relevant HEMT behavior using two different field-plate variants and its effects on PA performance as well as optimization of HPA driver stage size which also has a deep impact on the entire HPA. Two broadband (3 GHz) MMICs with different field-plate variants and two narrowband (1 GHz) PAs with different driver- to final-stage gate-width ratio are realized with a maximum output power of 19-23 W, a maximum power-added efficiency (PAE) of ?40%, and an associated power gain of 17 dB at X-band. Furthermore, two 1 mm test transistors of the same technology with the mentioned field-plate variants and a 1 mm test MMIC support VSWR-ratio tests of 6:1 and 4:1, respectively.