Sub-terahertz planar Gunn diode
Speaker: Mohamedismaeel Maricar, George Green Institute
Title: Sub-terahertz planar Gunn diode
Abstract: In this talk I will describe the design of a planar Gunn diode with a novel integrated circuit configuration to extract the 2nd harmonic. This will potentially enhance the Gunn diode as a high frequency source towards frequencies in excess of 600 GHz. The RF performance from the above integrated circuit was achieved by design and simulation of radial and diamond stub resonators, which were used to short the fundamental oscillation frequency while allowing the second harmonic frequency to pass through to the load. The diamond stub resonator is a new configuration offering a number of advantages which include a higher loaded quality factor and occupies 55% less chip area than a comparable radial stub resonator. The designed novel circuits with integrated planar Gunn diode were fabricated using microwave monolithic integrated circuits (MMIC) technology. Full DC and microwave characterisation of the diodes and integrated circuits with diodes was carried out using a semiconductor analyser, network analyser (10 MHz to 325GHz) and spectrum analyser (10 MHz to 125GHz). Both GaAs and InP based Gunn diodes were characterised and RF characterisation work showed that higher fundamental frequencies could be obtained from Gunn diodes fabricated on InGaAs on a lattice matched InP substrate. Planar Gunn diodes with an anode to cathode spacing of 4 microns giving a fundamental frequency of oscillation of 60 GHz were fabricated as an integrated circuit with coplanar waveguide (CPW) circuit elements to extract the second harmonic. A second harmonic frequency of 120 GHz with an RF output power of -14.11 dBm was extracted with very good fundamental frequency suppression. To the authors knowledge this was the first time second harmonic frequencies have been extracted from a planar Gunn diode technology. Aluminium gallium arsenide (AlGaAs) planar Gunn diodes were also designed with an integrated series inductor to match the diode at the fundamental frequency to obtain higher RF output powers. Devices with a 1 micron anode to cathode separation gave the highest fundamental oscillation frequency of 121 GHz the highest reported for a GaAs based Gunn diode and with an RF output power of -9 dBm. These circuits will have potential applications in secure communications, terahertz imaging etc.