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A W-band monolithic integrated active hot and cold noise source

: Diebold, S.; Weissbrodt, E.; Massler, H.; Leuther, A.; Tessmann, A.; Kallfass, I.


IEEE transactions on microwave theory and techniques 62 (2014), Nr.3, S.623-630
ISSN: 0018-9480
Fraunhofer IAF ()
active cold load (ACL); active hot load; active noise terminations; cold noise source; field-effect transistor (FET) switches; hot noise source; high electron mobility transistor (HEMT); low-noise amplifier (LNA); LNA design; metamorphic high electron-mobility transistor (mHEMT); millimeter wave imaging; monolithic microwave integrated circuit (MMIC); noise measurement; noise sources; noise temperature; radiometer calibration; W-band

For application in radiometry or noise measurement systems, an integrated active hot-cold load (AHCL) operating in the W-band (75-110 GHz) is presented and realized as monolithic millimeter-wave integrated circuit (MMIC). It makes use of a novel circuit topology that employs only a single active noise source and monolithic integrated switches to provide a cold and a hot noise reference temperature. The AHCL provides a measured cold temperature of only 230 K and a hot temperature of 860 K around 94 GHz, thus enabling two-point radiometric calibration and absolute power measurements. The noise source of the AHCL has been fabricated as a two-port test structure too. In that configuration, it has been measured as a low-noise amplifier with a noise figure of 2.5 dB at 94 GHz proving its good noise performance. As a stand-alone active cold load (ACL), an excellent noise power of only 190K at 93 GHz is achieved. The AHCL and ACL MMICs have been fabricated in 100-nm gate-length metamorphic high electron-mobility transistor technology.