Design and Characterization of RF-Power LDMOS Transistors

University dissertation from Uppsala : Universitetsbiblioteket

Abstract: In mobile communication new applications like wireless internet and mobile video have increased the demand of data-rates. Therefore, new more wideband systems are being implemented. Power amplifiers in the base-stations that simultaneously handle these wideband signals for many terminals (handhelds) need to be highly linear with a considerable band-width.In the past decade LDMOS has been the dominating technology for use in these RF-power amplifiers. In this work LDMOS transistors possible to fabricate in a normal CMOS process have been optimized and analyzed for RF-power applications. Their non-linear behavior has been explored using load-pull measurements. The mechanisms of the non-linear input capacitance have been analyzed using 2D TCAD simulations. The investigation shows that the input capacitance is a large contributor to phase distortion in the transistor.Computational load-pull TCAD methods have been developed for analysis of RF-power devices in high-efficiency operation. Methods have been developed for class-F with harmonic loading and for bias-modulation. Load-pull measurements with drain-bias modulation in a novel measurement setup have also been conducted. The investigation shows that the combination of computational load-pull of physical transistor structures and direct measurement evaluation with modified load-pull is a viable alternative for future design of RF-power devices. Simulations and measurements on the designed LDMOS shows a 10 to 15 % increase in drain efficiency in mid-power range both in simulations and measurements. The computational load-pull method has also been used to investigate the power capability of LDMOS transistors on SOI. This study indicates that either a low-resistivity or high-resistivity substrate should be used in manufacturing of RF-power LDMOS transistors on SOI to achieve optimum efficiency. Based on a proper substrate selection these devices exhibit a 10 % higher drain-efficiency mainly due to lower dissipated power in the devices.

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