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Nonlinear Characterization of Varactors for Tunable Networks by Active Source–Pull and Load–Pull

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3 Author(s)
Andersson, C.M. ; Microwave Electron. Lab., Chalmers Univ. of Technol., Goteborg, Sweden ; Thorsell, M. ; Rorsman, N.

Varactors are key components in the realization of tunable networks, for instance, in high-efficiency power-amplifier architectures. This paper presents a method to measure the varactor quality factor (Q-factor) in the presence of nonlinear distortion. The importance of correctly choosing the loading condition at the second harmonic is illustrated by multiharmonic active source- and load-pull measurements. Furthermore, the method also allows for accurate extraction of the bias-dependent series resistance without the need of area consuming resonant structures. The proposed method is applied to characterize a silicon-carbide (SiC) Schottky diode varactor at 3 GHz. The measured results reemphasize that varactors are not linear tunable, but inherently nonlinear components that require proper consideration of the higher order harmonics.

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Microwave Theory and Techniques, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:59 ,  Issue: 7 )