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Title: High performance terahertz resonant tunnelling diode sources and broadband antenna for air-side radiation
Author: Alharbi, Khalid Hamed
ISNI:       0000 0004 5917 3037
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2016
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Resonant tunnelling diode (RTD) is known to be the fastest electronics device that can be fabricated in compact form and operate at room temperature with potential oscillation frequency up to 2.5 THz. The RTD device consists of a narrow band gap quantum well layer sandwiched between two thin wide band gap barriers layers. It exhibits negative differential resistance (NDR) region in its current-voltage (I-V) characteristics which is utilised in making oscillators. Up to date, the main challenge is producing high output power at high frequencies in particular. Although oscillation frequencies of ~ 2 THz have been already reported, the output power is in the range of micro-Watts. This thesis describes the systematic work on the design, fabrication, and characterisation of RTD-based oscillators in microwave/millimetre-wave monolithic integrated circuits (MMIC) form that can produce high output power and high oscillation frequency at the same time. Different MMIC RTD oscillator topologies were designed, fabricated, and characterised in this project which include: single RTD oscillator which employs one RTD device, double RTDs oscillator which employs two RTD devices connected in parallel, and coupled RTD oscillators which combine the powers of two oscillators over a single load, based on mutual coupling and which can employ up to four RTD devices. All oscillators employed relatively large size RTD devices for high power operation. The main challenge was to realise high oscillation frequency (~ 300 GHz) in MMIC form with the employed large sized RTD devices. To achieve this aim, proper designs of passive structures that can provide small values of resonating inductances were essential. These resonating inductance structures included shorted coplanar wave guide (CPW) and shorted microstrip transmission lines of low characteristics impedances Zo. Shorted transmission line of lower Zo has lower inductance per unit length. Thus, the geometrical dimensions would be relatively large and facilitate fabrication by low cost photolithography. A series of oscillators with oscillation frequencies in the J-band (220 – 325 GHz) range and output powers from 0.2 – 1.1 mW have been achieved in this project, and all were fabricated using photolithography. Theoretical estimation showed that higher oscillation frequencies ( > 1 THz) can be achieved with the proposed MMIC RTD oscillators design in this project using photolithography with expected high power operation. Besides MMIC RTD oscillators, reported planar antennas for RTD-based oscillators were critically reviewed and the main challenges in designing high performance integrated antennas on large dielectric constant substrates are discussed in this thesis. A novel antenna was designed, simulated, fabricated, and characterised in this project. It was a bow-tie antenna with a tuning stub that has very wide bandwidth across the J-band. The antenna was diced and mounted on a reflector ground plane to alleviate the effect of the large dielectric constant substrate (InP) and radiates upwards to the air-side direction. The antenna was also investigated for integration with the all types of oscillators realised in this project. One port and two port antennas were designed, simulated, fabricated, and characterised and showed the suitability of integration with the single/double oscillator layout and the coupled oscillator layout, respectively.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: T Technology (General)