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20 nm metamorphic HEMT technology for terahertz monolithic integrated circuits

: Leuther, A.; Tessmann, A.; Doria, P.; Ohlrogge, M.; Seelmann-Eggebert, M.; Massler, H.; Schlechtweg, M.; Ambacher, O.


IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society; European Microwave Association; Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers -IEEE-:
9th European Microwave Integrated Circuits Conference, EuMIC 2014. Proceedings : 06-07 October 2014, Italy, Rome, EuMW 2014, European Microwave Week
Piscataway, NJ: IEEE, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-4799-5473-5
ISBN: 978-2-87487-036-1
European Microwave Integrated Circuits Conference (EuMIC) <9, 2014, Rome>
European Microwave Week (EuMW) <17, 2014, Rome>
Fraunhofer IAF ()
low-noise amplifier (LNA); metamorphic high electron mobility transistor (mHEMT); terahertz monolithic integrated circuit (TMIC)

A metamorphic high electron mobility transistor (mHEMT) technology with 20 nm gate length for manufacturing of terahertz monolithic integrated circuits (TMICs) is presented. The passive elements include up to four interconnection metallization layers separated by low-k dielectrics (BCB), SiN and air which can be used to realize front side signal lines. Shielding the substrate from the electromagnetic field on the wafer front side eliminates the need of a costly back side process including wafer thinning, through substrate via etching and back side metallization. The semiconductor heterostructure of the mHEMT comprises a strained pure InAs channel with high electron mobility and high electron density for proper device scaling. The realized mHEMTs achieve a source resistance r(s) of 0.12 (omega)mm which is required to minimize resistive losses in combination with an extrinsic maximum transconductance g(m max) of 2850 mS/mm. Elaborated on wafer calibration procedures and optimized test transistor layouts were used to improve the precision of the S-parameter measurements up to a frequency of 450 GHz which than could be used for model extraction. The presented 20 nm mHEMT technology was employed for the design of a compact eight stage low-noise amplifier (LNA) using miniaturized microstrip lines on BCB. The measured small signal gain of the LNA exceeds 15 dB from 500 - 635 GHz.