Design and characterisation of millimetre wave planar Gunn diodes and integrated circuits.
PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.
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Heterojunction planar Gunn devices were first demonstrated by Khalid et al in 2007. This new design of Gunn device, or transferred electron device, was based on the well-established material system of GaAs as the oscillation media. The design did not only breakthrough the frequency record of GaAs for conventional Gunn devices, but also has several advantages over conventional Gunn devices, such as the possibility of making multiple oscillators on a single chip and compatibility with monolithic integrated circuits. However, these devices faced the challenge of producing high enough RF power for practical applications and circuit technology for integration.
This thesis describes systematic work on the design and characterisations of planar Gunn diodes and the associated millimetre-wave circuits for RF signal power enhancement. Focus has been put on improving the design of planar Gunn diodes and developing high performance integrated millimetre-wave circuits for combining multiple Gunn diodes.
Improvement of device design has been proved to be one of the key methods to increase the signal power. By introducing additional δ-doping layers, electron concentration in the channel increases and better Gunn domain formation is achieved, therefore higher RF power and frequency are produced. Combining multiple channels in the vertical direction within devices is another effective way to increase the output signal power as well as DC-to-RF conversion efficiency. In addition, an alternative material system, i.e. In0.23Ga0.77As, has also been studied for this purpose.
Planar passive components, such as resonators, couplers, low pass filters (LPFs), and power combiners with high performance over 100 GHz have been developed. These components can be smoothly integrated with planar Gunn diodes for compact planar Gunn oscillators, and therefore contribute to RF power enhancement.
In addition, several new measurement techniques for characterising oscillators and passive devices have also been developed during this work and will be included in this thesis.
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