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Accurate pHEMT nonlinear modeling in the presence of low-frequency dispersive effects

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8 Author(s)
Raffo, A. ; Dept. of Eng., Univ. of Ferrara, Italy ; Santarelli, Alberto ; Traverso, P.A. ; Vannini, G.
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Low-frequency (LF) dispersive phenomena due to device self-heating and/or the presence of "traps" (i.e., surface state densities and bulk spurious energy levels) must be taken into account in the large-signal dynamic modeling of III-V field-effect transistors when accurate performance predictions are pursued, since these effects cause important deviations between direct current (dc) and dynamic drain current characteristics. In this paper, a new model for the accurate characterization of these phenomena above their cutoff frequencies is presented, which is able to fully exploit, in the identification phase, large-signal current-voltage (I-V) measurements carried out under quasi-sinusoidal regime using a recently proposed setup. Detailed experimental results for model validation under LF small- and large-signal operating conditions are provided. Furthermore, the I-V model proposed has been embedded into a microwave large-signal pseudomorphic high electron-mobility transistor (pHEMT) model in order to point out the strong influence of LF modeling on the degree of accuracy achievable under millimeter-wave nonlinear operation. Large-signal experimental validation at microwave frequencies is provided for the model proposed, by showing the excellent intermodulation distortion (IMD) predictions obtained with different loads despite the very low power level of IMD products involved. Details on the millimeter-wave IMD measurement setup are also provided. Finally, IMD measurements and simulations on a Ka-band highly linear power amplifier, designed by Ericsson using the Triquint GaAs 0.25-μm pHEMT process, are shown for further model validation.

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Microwave Theory and Techniques, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:53 ,  Issue: 11 )