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Title: Multiphysics measurements of high-power microwave transistors and amplifiers
Author: Urbonas, Jonas
ISNI:       0000 0004 8503 0531
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2019
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Fifth generation communication networks promise extremely high data throughputs, low latencies, and ultra-high reliability by employing small cells in high density networks. This will increase the use of highly inefficient microwave power amplifiers, that exhibit efficiencies sometimes as low as 10% for advanced multi-carrier waveforms. To overcome these inefficiencies and enable next generation technology development, the internal distributed behaviour of the packaged microwave power transistor has to be fully characterised, which is impossible using conventional port-based measurements. In this dissertation, the development of a set of multiphysics measurement techniques that capture the distributed electrical, electromagnetic, and thermal device behaviour is described. These new multiphysics measurement techniques enable the characterisation and direct visualisation of the inefficient device performance, providing a basis for future design optimisation. The techniques combine a non-linear vector network analyser, electro-optic, load-pull and thermoreflectance measurement systems that enable large signal time-domain electrical, distributed multi-harmonic vector electric field (E-field), and transient and steady-state thermal measurements. The multiphysics measurement set-up was used to characterise various transistors and PAs including 260 W silicon (Si) laterally diffused metal oxide semiconductor (LDMOS) field effect transistors in both air-cavity ceramic and plastic packages, 25 W gallium nitride (GaN) on silicon carbide high electron mobility transistors (HEMTs), 250 W GaN HEMT and 360 W Si LDMOS Doherty power amplifiers. The E-field measurements enabled the first ever imaging of parametric odd-mode oscillations within multi-die packaged high-power microwave transistors. Additionally, the measurement system was used to verify the effectiveness of in-package oscillation suppression circuits. As high-resolution E-field measurements can be slow, a surrogate modelling-based measurement algorithm was implemented to accelerate measurements 10-fold. Transient thermal measurements helped to identify abnormal transistor finger-to-finger heating in GaN HEMTs and revealed thermal differences along the gate width in GaN-based asymmetric transistors for Doherty power amplifier applications.
Supervisor: Aaen, Peter Sponsor: NXP Semiconductors
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral