The asymmetry between capture and release time constants associated with charge-trapping phenomena observed in the electrical characteristics of microwave gallium-nitride (GaN) field-effect transistors (FETs) introduces distortion in GaN-based power amplifiers (PA). The PAs that operate with supply modulation to increase efficiency are particularly affected by this phenomenon, since the GaN FET trap state exhibits a nonlinear dependence on the voltage applied to the device terminals. In this paper, a measurement approach and the setup are presented for a large-signal characterization of GaN-based PAs operated with dynamic bias supply: a new prepulsing technique is introduced, which enables the characterization of the PA in controlled charge-trapping and thermal states. The characteristics obtained with this technique are shown to give an accurate description of the PA performance in the actual application working conditions. The proposed approach is validated by using the measured data for the direct computation of predistortion functions for the linearization of a 9.7-GHz envelope tracking 10-W GaN monolithic microwave integrated circuit PA for amplitude-modulated pulsed radar transmitters. Additional research on the PA trap-induced performance degradation is also presented and can be explored to predict the PA performance for different parameters of the operative regime or for the formulation of the PA behavioral models.
|Number of pages||17|
|Journal||IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques|
|Publication status||Published - 17 Jul 2017|
Bibliographical noteThe acceptance date is provisional and based on date of publication.
- amplifier measurements
- envelope tracking (ET)
- gallium nitride (GaN)
- pulsed measurement
- radar pulse shaping
- supply modulation
- trapping effects