Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Electrical, Computer & Energy Engineering
Increasing the operating frequency of switching converters can have a direct impact in the miniaturization and integration of power converters. The size of energy-storage passive components and the difficulty to integrate them with the rest of the circuitry is a major challenge in the development of a fully integrated power supply on a chip. The work presented in this thesis attempts to address some of the difficulties encountered in the design of high-frequency converters by applying concepts and techniques usually used in the design of high-efficiency power amplifiers and high-efficiency rectifiers at microwave frequencies. The main focus is in the analysis, design, and characterization of dc-dc converters operating at microwave frequencies in the low gigahertz range.
The concept of PA-rectifier duality, where a high-efficiency power amplifier operates as a high-efficiency rectifier is investigated through non-linear simulations and experimentally validated. Additionally, the concept of a self-synchronous rectifier, where a transistor rectifier operates synchronously without the need of a RF source or driver is demonstrated. A theoretical analysis of a class-E self-synchronous rectifier is presented and validated through non-linear simulations and experiments.
Two GaN class-E2 dc-dc converters operating at a switching frequency of 1 and 1.2 GHz are demonstrated. The converters achieve 80 % and 75 % dc-dc efficiency respectively and are among the highest-frequency and highest-efficiency reported in the literature. The application of the concepts established in the analysis of a self-synchronous rectifier to a power amplifier culminated in the development of an oscillating, self-synchronous class-E2 dc-dc converter.
Finally, a proof-of-concept fully integrated GaN MMIC class-E2 dc-dc converter switching at 4.6 GHz is demonstrated for the first time to the best of our knowledge. The 3.8 mm x 2.6 mm chip contains distributed inductors and does not require any external components. The maximum measured dc-dc efficiency is approximately 45%.
Ramos, Ignacio, "Gan Microwave Dc-Dc Converters" (2016). Electrical Engineering Graduate Theses & Dissertations. 14.