Heterostructure Barrier Varactors for High Efficiency Frequency Multipliers

Sammanfattning: This thesis describes the Heterostructure Barrier Varactor (HBV) and its application in frequency multipliers. Different HBV materials, fabrication processes, and device models are presented. The aim of this work is to improve the efficiency of HBV frequency multipliers.

Efficiency limitations of symmetric varactor frequency multipliers are investigated. Simple varactor models with capacitance-voltage characteristics of varying shapes have been analyzed. Calculations show that the conversion efficiency is improved for a C(V)-shape with large non-linearity at zero-volt bias. For quintuplers, the optimal embedding impedance at the third harmonic is an inductance in reso-nance with the varactor capacitance.

Results are presented from frequency tripler measurements with planar GaAs/AlGaAs HBVs. Simulations and cooled measurements show that self-heating yields excessive conduction current that decreases the efficiency. A new design of planar HBVs has been tested with improved thermal conductance and reduced series resistance. A maximum output power of 4 mW was generated at 246 GHz with an efficiency of 4.8%.

A new fabrication process is presented in which HBVs are fabricated on a copper substrate. This process offers reduced parasitic losses and improved thermal conductivity and is carried out without degrading the electrical characteristics. In a frequency tripler experiment, a maximum output power of 7.1 mW was generated at 221 GHz with a flange-to-flange efficiency of 7.9%.

A quasi-optical HBV tripler is presented. 11.5 mW was generated at 141 GHz with a maximum efficiency of 8%.

A non-linear transmission line frequency tripler, consisting of a finline loaded with 15 HBVs, is presented. A maximum output power of 10 mW was generated at 130.5 GHz with an efficiency of 7%, and the 3 dB bandwidth was measured to 10%.

A simple design method for the calculation of optimum embedding impedances, maximum efficiency, and pump power for HBV triplers is presented.

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