A three-stage monolithic millimeter-wave integrated-circuit (MMIC) amplifier designed to exhibit low noise in operation at frequencies from about 100 to somewhat above 180 GHz has been built and tested. This is a prototype of broadband amplifiers that have potential utility in diverse applications, including measurement of atmospheric temperature and humidity and millimeter-wave imaging for inspecting contents of opaque containers.
Figure 1 depicts the amplifier as it appears before packaging. Figure 2 presents data from measurements of the performance of the amplifier as packaged in a WR-05 waveguide and tested in the frequency range from about 150 to about 190 GHz. The amplifier exhibited substantial gain throughout this frequency range. Especially notable is the fact that at 165 GHz, the noise figure was found to be 3.7 dB, and the noise temperature was found to be 370 K: This is less than half the noise temperature of the prior state of the art.