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Contactless, high resolution characterization of current and voltage waveforms within high power communication amplifiers

Al-Ziayree, Ali Mahdi Lafta 2018. Contactless, high resolution characterization of current and voltage waveforms within high power communication amplifiers. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Abstract

Characterisation of high-power communications-based amplifiers (PAs) has generated many thousands of research papers and much of this work assumes the transistors at the heart of these (PAs) to be a ‘large’ holistic entity. Given that high-power communications-based transistors are made up of multiple, parallel transistors on a single substrate, it is this intermediate scale range, within the periphery of the device, but much larger than the geometrical scale of the epitaxy and the lithography, that requires deeper investigation. Raman-based thermography may add a dimension of spatially varying heat dissipation but ‘lifting the bonnet’ of the transistor and making internal contactless measurements of current and voltage is the only way to fully account for the myriads of parasitic effects that have been observed by countless researchers. To date, however, very little research has been conducted on quantifying the individual spatial voltages within the transistor in order to fully characterise it. Miniaturised contactless current and voltage probes are theorised, designed, characterised and optimised in this thesis to deliver a robust and reliable means of transistor characterisation at these internal spatial dimensions. The contactless voltage probe presented in this work has a spatial resolution four times finer than the previously reported voltage probe, with a useful bandwidth up to 7 GHz and a controllable passive gain up to 20 dB at the desired operating frequency. The pinnacle of this thesis delivers a novel shielded contactless current probe, capable of high-resolution scanning, culminating in a ‘quasi-calibrated’ measurement of the distributed currents within a multi-finger LDMOS transistor operating at high power and high frequency. The spatial resolution of this shielded contactless current probe is 62.5 μm with 22.7 dB average rejection ratio to the electric field, and it has a broad bandwidth up to 9 GHz. To date, this type of contactless current measurement has not been reported elsewhere.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Engineering
Uncontrolled Keywords: Current Probe; Voltage Probe; Contactless Probe; Transistor Characterization; Spatial Resolution; Microwave Transistor.
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 28 March 2018
Last Modified: 28 Mar 2018 15:48
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/110309

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