Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Electrical, Computer & Energy Engineering

First Advisor

Zoya Popovic

Second Advisor

Michael DeLisio

Third Advisor

Miroslav Micovic

Fourth Advisor

Charles Campbell

Fifth Advisor

Dejan Filipovic

Abstract

This thesis addresses the analysis, design, integration and test of microwave and millimeter-wave monolithic microwave integrated circuits (MMIC or MMICs). Recent and ongoing progress in semiconductor device fabrication and MMIC processing technology has pushed the upper limit in MMIC frequencies from millimeter-wave (30 - 300 GHz) to terahertz (300 - 3000 GHz). MMIC components operating at these frequencies will be used to improve the sensitivity and performance of radiometers, receivers for communication systems, passive remote sensing systems, transceivers for radar instruments and radio astronomy systems. However, a serious hurdle in the utilization of these MMIC components, and a main topic presented in this thesis, is the development and reliable fabrication of practical packaging techniques. The focus of this thesis is the investigation of first, the design and analysis of microwave and millimeter-wave GaN MMICs and second, the integration of those MMICs into usable waveguide components. The analysis, design and testing of various X-band (8-12 GHz) thru H-band (170-260 GHz) GaN MMIC power amplifier (PA or PAs), including a V-band (40-75 GHz) voltage controlled oscillator, is the majority of this work. Several PA designs utilizing high-efficiency techniques are analyzed, designed and tested. These examples include a 2nd harmonic injection amplifier, a Class-E amplifier fabricated with a GaN-on-SiC 300 GHz fT process, and an example of the applicability of supply-modulation with a Doherty power amplifier, all operating at 10 GHz. Two H-band GaN MMIC PAs are designed, one with integrated CPW-to-waveguide transitions for integration. The analysis of PA stability is especially important for wideband, high-fT devices and a new way of analyzing stability is explored and experimentally validated. Last, the challenges of integrating MMICs operating at millimeter-wave frequencies are discussed and assemblies using additive and traditional manufacturing are demonstrated.

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