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Analysis and development of submillimeter-wave stacked-FET power amplifier MMICs in 35-nm mHEMT technology

: Amado-Rey, Ana Belén; Campos-Roca, Yolanda; Raay, Friedbert van; Friesicke, Christian; Wagner, Sandrine; Massler, Hermann; Leuther, Arnulf; Ambacher, Oliver


IEEE Transactions on Terahertz Science and Technology 8 (2018), Nr.3, S.357-364
ISSN: 2156-342X
Fraunhofer IAF ()
Dolph–Chebyshev; metamorphic high electron mobility transistor (mHEMT); power amplifier; stacked fieldeffect transistor (stacked-FET); submillimeter-wave monolithic integrated circuit (S-MMIC)

This paper reports on the first stacked field-effect transistor (stacked-FET) submillimeter-wave monolithic integrated circuit (S-MMIC) power amplifier cell operating at 0.3 THzand the first stacked-FET medium power amplifier (MPA) at240 GHz. Both circuits are fabricated using a 35-nm InGaAs-on-GaAs metamorphic high electron mobility transistor (mHEMT) technology with grounded coplanar waveguide lines. In both cases, compactness and performance are enhanced thanks to the useof an in-house process, based on three-metallization layers, instead of the usual two-layer process. The single-stacked cell exhibits an ultrawide small-signal 3-dB relative bandwidth (RBW) of47.3%, with output power levels higher than 4.3 dBm from 280 to 308 GHz (9.5%). The MPA MMIC combining four triple-stacked mHEMT cells in parallel achieves a small-signal 3-dB RBW of 24.2%, 10.8 dBm of output power, and a power-added efficiency of 5.02%. These values outperform the state-of-the-art results of MPAs published within a comparable technology.