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High Linearity GaN Transistors for Enhanced LNA Dynamic Range

Project Summary:

Novel transistor designs for improved linearity in GaN-based FETs are being explored for their potential to improve dynamic range in mm-wave low noise amplifiers (LNAs). This project includes device design, modeling, fabrication, and characterization of devices, as well as design of low-noise amplifiers (based on the extracted models) and comparison with designs based on conventional transistors in order to fully understand the potential benefits and any associated design trade-offs for mm-wave receiver applications.


Student’s Role:

Student involvement in this project can take several forms; focus on one particular aspect (e.g. device design, characterization, LNA design) is anticipated. For example, for device design work student would perform physics-based TCAD simulations of candidate designs, and optimize the device structure for best input IP3 and gain performance. For characterization, fabricated devices will be characterized on-wafer using nonlinear vector network analysis and on-wafer noise-parameter measurements in order to experimentally characterize the nonlinearities as well as noise figure and noise parameters. LNA design will include design of mm-wave LNA blocks (e.g. single-stage amplifier with reactive matching) to form the basis of comparative studies between new and conventional device designs.