This is the fastest MMIC amplifier reported to date.
The first solid-state amplifier capable of producing gain at a frequency >215 GHz has been demonstrated. This amplifier is an intermediate product of a continuing effort to develop amplifiers having the frequency and gain characteristics needed for a forthcoming generation of remote-sensing instruments for detecting water vapor and possibly other atmospheric constituents. There are also other potential uses for such amplifiers in wide-band communications, automotive radar, and millimeter- wave imaging for inspecting contents of opaque containers.
The performance of the amplifier was measured by use of the instrumentation system described in “Equipment for On-Wafer Testing From 220 to 325 GHz” (NPO-40955), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 30, No. 1 (January 2006), page 38. This instrumentation system, equivalent to a two-port vector network analyzer, was equipped with custom wafer probes (see figure) designed for the noted frequency band, which is that of WR-3 waveguides [waveguides having a standard rectangular cross section of 0.0340 by 0.0170 in. (0.8636 by 0.4318 mm)]. Among other things, the measurements showed a peak gain of 10 dB at a frequency of 235 GHz.
This work was done by Douglas Dawson, King Man Fung, Karen Lee, Lorene Samoska, Mary Wells, Todd Gaier, and Pekka Kangaslahti of Caltech; and Ronald Grundbacher, Richard Lai, Rohit Raja, and Po-Hsin Liu of NGST for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. For more information, download the Technical Support Package (free white paper) at www.techbriefs.com/tsp under the Semiconductors & ICs category. NPO-42202
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MMIC Amplifier Produces Gain of 10 dB At 235 GHz (reference NPO-42202) is currently available for download from the TSP library.
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