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A novel unit cell for active switches in the millimeter-wave frequency range

: Müller, Daniel; Scherer, Gunnar; Lewark, Ulrich J.; Massler, Hermann; Wagner, Sandrine; Tessmann, Axel; Leuther, Arnulf; Zwick, Thomas; Kallfass, Ingmar


Journal of infrared, millimeter, and terahertz waves 39 (2018), Nr.2, S.161-176
ISSN: 1866-6892
ISSN: 1866-6906
Fraunhofer IAF ()
active switch; single pole double throw (SPDT); multiple throw; monolithic microwave integrated circuit (MMIC); InGaAs mHEMT

This paper presents a novel transistor unit cell which is intended to realize compact active switches in the high millimeter-wave frequency range. The unit cell consists of the combination of shunt and common gate transistor within a four-finger transistor cell, achieving gain in the amplifying state as well as good isolation in the isolating state. Gate width-dependent characteristics of the unit cell as well as the design of actual switch implementations are discussed in detail. To verify the concept, two switches, a single pole double throw (SPDT) switch and single pole quadruple throw (SP4T) switch, intended for the WR3 frequency range (220–325 GHz) were manufactured and characterized. The measured gain at 250 GHz is 4.6 and 2.2 dB for the SPDT and SP4T switch, respectively. An isolation of more than 24 dB for the SPDT switch and 12.8 dB for the SP4T switch was achieved.