Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 47

Basics of RF Devices I

Frank Schwierz
Technische Universitt Ilmenau, Germany

OUTLINE Introduction Mainstream Electronics vs RF Electronics Transistor Concepts I RF Transistor Figures of Merit Material Issues Special Needs for RF History and Evolution of RF Transistors

TARGET Summer School, 13 September 2004 Europa Beach, Crete

What is RF Electronics
RF electronics
RF: Radio Frequency, i.e. frequencies around and above 1 GHz Synonymous: - microwave electronics - high-frequency electronics - high-speed electronics RF electronics is one of the fastest growing fields in semiconductor (and electronics) industry Traditionally: - defense related applications clearly dominated Currently: - large consumer markets for RF products - defense related applications

Basics of RF Devices I
Frank Schwierz
Technische Universitt Ilmenau, Germany

OUTLINE Introduction

Mainstream Electronics vs. RF Electronics


Transistor Concepts I RF Transistor Figures of Merit Material Issues Special Needs for RF History and Evolution of RF Transistors

TARGET Summer School, 13 September 2004 Europa Beach, Crete

Mainstream Electronics vs RF Electronics


Mainstream electronics (processors, ASICs, memories) Semiconductors
Si

Transistor Types
MOSFETs For a few applications BJTs

RF electronics Semiconductors
III-V compounds based
on GaAs and InP Si and SiGe Wide bandgap materials (SiC and III-nitrides)

Transistor Types
MESFET - Metal Semiconductor FET
HEMT - High Electron Mobility Transistor MOSFET - Metal Oxide Semiconductor FET HBT - Heterojunction Bipolar Transistor BJT - Bipolar Junction Transistor
4

Mainstream Electronics vs RF Electronics


Mainstream electronics
- Governed by Moore's Law - Increasing number of devices per chip - Scaling (decreasing device size) - CD < 1 m around 1987 (commercially) - Si MOSFET dominates
1T

RF electronics
- Moore's Law is not an issue - Integration is less important - Traditionally a submicron technology - Commercial devices 1980 0.5 - 2 m 1982 0.25 - 1 m 100 2004 0.05 - 0.5 m 128G
Minimum feature size, m 10

Memory Bits per Chip

1G

ITRS 2003 targets

1M

DRAM
18nm 7nm

0.1

0.01

1k 1970 1980 1990 2000

Processors

2010

2020

0.001

Year

Mainstream Electronics
Intel MOSFET with 70 nm gate
10 10
9

Evolution of Intel Processors


Itanium ISSCC 2002 Pentium III Itanium 2 ISSCC 2003 410 mio trans.

Transistors per chip

Pentium 4

10 10 10 10

Pentium II Pentium 486 386

286 8086

8080 4004 8008

This device is in mass production!


More than 40 Mio. transistors of this type are integrated on a single Pentium 4 chip.

10

1970

1980

1990

2000

2010

Year of introduction

And even smaller transistors are already fabricated in the lab !


6

Mainstream Electronics
Mainstream electronics is on the way to nanoelectronics
IEDM 2000 Intel 30nm DRC 2003 Intel 10nm

IEDM 2002 IBM 6nm

IEDM 2003 NEC 5nm

Mainstream Electronics

Intel's new Tri-Gate MOSFET - Smaller and smaller devices - New MOSFET concepts - But: Si still dominates MOSFET still dominates
8

RF Electronics Market Trends


by 1980 Only military applications, RF is synonymous with mysterious. Philosophy: Performance at any price.

1980s-90s Increasing number of consumer applications Late 1990s Clear shift from military to consumer applications, explosion of the market for mobile communications. Now: reasonable performance at lowest price. 2001 Considerable turbulences, layoffs. There are no markets with unlimited growth!

2003/2004 Recovery. In the medium and long term, RF electronics will still grow dynamically. New applications will be introduced.

RF Electronics Applications

Taken from: ITRS 2003 Edition.


Chapter Radio Frequency and Analog/Mixed-Signal Technologies for Wireless Communications

10

RF Electronics Acronyms
GSM Global System for Mobile Communications CDMA Code-Division Multiple Access ISM Industrial, Scientific and Medical (frequency bands) PDC Personal digital cellular GPS Global Positioning System (Satellite) DCS Digital Communication System PCS Personal Communications system DECT Digital European Cordless Telephone/Telecommunications WLAN Wireless Local Areal Network UWB Ultra-Wideband
A comprehensive compilation of acronyms related to RF electronics can be found in: F. Bashore, Acronyms Used by the RF/Microwave Industry Pt. I: Microwave Journal, Feb. 1997, pp. 110-115 Pt. II: Microwave Journal, Feb. 1997, pp. 114-122 11

Basics of RF Devices I
Frank Schwierz
Technische Universitt Ilmenau, Germany

OUTLINE Introduction Mainstream Electronics vs. RF Electronics

Transistor Concepts I
RF Transistor Figures of Merit Material Issues Special Needs for RF History and Evolution of RF Transistors

TARGET Summer School, 13 September 2004 Europa Beach, Crete

12

Transistor Concepts I
Two basic transistor concepts
FETs (Field-Effect Transistor) The output current (mainly a drift current) is controlled by a perpendicular field. The conductivity of the channel is varied by changing the potential of a control electrode (gate). - MESFETs (Metal-Semiconductor FET) - HEMTs (High Elexctron Mobility Transistor) - MOSFETs (Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor FET) Bipolar transistors The output current (mainly a diffusion current) is controlled by the voltage across a pn junction. The carrier injection is varied by changing the voltage across the junction. - BJT (Bipolar Junction Transistor) - HBT (Heterojunction Bipolar Transistor).
13

Transistor Concepts I - FETs


Gate VG

A FET in general
Drain n+

Source n+

Channel Lch

FETs

MESFET
S G D S

HEMT
G D S

MOSFET
G D

RF FETs use n-channels. A more positive gate voltage increases the number of carriers (electrons) in the channel

n+ S.I. GaAs

n+

n+

n AlGaAs n +

n+ p-type Si

n+

i GaAs S.I. GaAs Channel bulk-like EC EF EV Channel 2DEG EC EF EV

Channel 2DEG Inversion layer EC EF EV

14

Transistor Concepts I - Bipolars


Base

A bipolar transistor in general


Emitter n p n Collector

EB junction forward biased n


more positive VBE

CB junction reverse biased

more negative VBE

Bipolar transistors BJT - same material for emitter and base - EB junction is a homojunction HBT - different materials for emitter and base - EB junction is a heterojunction - emitter: wider bandgap - base: more narrow bandgap

15

How to Make a Transistor Fast ?


An RF transistor has to react as fast as possible on a variation of the input signal FET gate voltage VG Bipolar Transistor base voltage VB (base current IB) The charge distribution in the active region of the transistor has to be changed. To achieve this we have to consider - Transistor Design Small active region of the transistor. Critical dimension FET: gate length L Bipolar: base thickness (width) wB - Material Issues Most important: Fast carriers
16

How to Make an FET Fast ?


Gate VG

Source n+ Lch n+

Drain

n+

n+

Design: short channel (small Lch) fast carriers (n-channel)

Material: fast carriers (high mobility, high velocity)


17

How to Make a Bipolar Transistor Fast ?


Base VB

p Emitter n n Collector

large positive VBE

wB

p n n

smaller positive VBE

Design: narrow base (small wB) fast carriers (npn)

Material: fast carriers - high mobility - high velocity high diffusivity

18

Basics of RF Devices I
Frank Schwierz
Technische Universitt Ilmenau, Germany

OUTLINE Introduction Mainstream Electronics vs. RF Electronics Transistor Concepts I

RF Transistor Figures of Merit


Material Issues Special Needs for RF History and Evolution of RF Transistors

TARGET Summer School, 13 September 2004 Europa Beach, Crete

19

RF Transistor FOM (Figures of Merit)


The two most important features of a transistor are: - its ability to amplify (important for analog and RF electronics) - its ability to act as a switch (important for digital electronics) Important Figures of Merit (FOMs) of RF transistors

RF power transistors - Gain (power gain, current gain) - Frequency limits fT and fmax - Output power - ...

RF low-noise transistors - Gain - fT and fmax - Minimum noise figure - ...

20

FOMs Power Gains


Power Gain
General definition:

G =

Pout Pin

Microwave electronics - several power gain definitions. Frequently used are: - Maximum stable gain MSG - Maximum available gain MAG - Unilateral power gain U - Associated gain Ga Example: Definition of U Power gain of a two-port having no output-to-input feedback, with input and output conjugately impedance matched to signal source and load, respectively.

[ Re ( y11 )

Re ( y 22 ) Re ( y12 ) Re ( y 21 ) ]

y 21 y12

Power gains are frequently given in dB:

Power Gain [ dB ] = 10 log (Power Gain)

21

FOMs Current Gain and Noise Figure


Current Gain General definition:

h21

i2 i1

y 21 y11

Current gain in dB

h21

[dB]

= 20 log 10 h21

Noise Figure NF describes the noise generated in the transistor. Should be as small as possible and is always above 0 dB in real transistors. For optimum matching and bias conditions, NF reaches a minimum - the minimum noise figure NFmin.

NF

[ dB ]

PSi PNi = 10 log PSo PNo

22

FOMs The Characteristic Frequencies fT and fmax


50
U fit (-20 dB/dec)

40

h21 and U roll off at higher frequencies at a slope of 20 dB/dec.


fmax=138 GHz

Gain, dB

30

h21 fit (-20 dB/dec)

20
measured h21 measured U fT=108 GHz

Cutoff Frequency fT Frequency, at which the magnitude of the short circuit current gain h21 rolls off to 1 (0 dB). Maximum Frequency of Oscillation fmax Frequency, at which the unilateral power gain U rolls off to 1 (0 dB).

10

0 0.1

10

100

Frequency, GHz
Measured h21 and U of a GaAs MESFET After K. Onodera et al., IEEE Trans. ED 38, p. 429.

Attention:

Frequently fmax is NOT extrapolated from measured U, but from measured MAG or MSG ! Check before working with published fmax values !
23

FOMs The Characteristic Frequencies fT and fmax

Measured h21, MSG, MAG, and U of a SiGe HBT Ref.: J.-S. Rieh et al., IEDM 2002. 24

FOMs The Importance of fT and fmax


A frequently asked question:
Is the extrapolation of h21 and U with 20dB/dec actually useful? The answer is: definitely YES ! 1. P. Greiling (1984) "For those of us associated with this technology, this measurement problem always seems to exist. We are in a catch 22 situation in which we are developing circuits for instruments that are needed to measure the circuits we are developing." 2. If we know the extrapolated fmax we find the power gain U at any frequency according to:

U ( f ) = 20 log f + 20 log f max


3. Using fT and fmax we can compare the RF potential of different transistors reported somewhere in the literature.
25

FOMs fT and fmax vs fop


Rule of thumb fT ~ n fop, fT ~ fmax
- Low-noise transistors: n ~ 10 (conservative) , i.e., fT should be around 10 the operating frequency fop of the RF system in which the transistor is to be used. - Power transistors: n ~ 5. What does this mean? If n = 10 and fT = fmax, we have 20 dB unilateral power gain U at fop. Note that U is the upper limit for the power gain a transistor can achieve. The actual gain in a realistic circuit environment, e.g. Ga for minimum noise, will be several dB lower.
Examples: GaAs MESFET: fmax = 70 GHz AlGaAs/GaAs HEMT: fmax = 50 GHz AlGaAs/GaAs HEMT: fmax = 120 GHz U @ 12 GHz = 15.3 dB, Ga @ 12 GHz = 11 dB U @ 12 GHz = 12.4 dB, Ga @ 12 GHz = 9 dB U @ 18 GHz = 16.5 dB, Ga @ 18 GHz = 11.6 dB 26

FOMs Output Power


Amount of RF power in Watt (W) that can be delivered from a transistor to the load. General definition:

Pout

1 T

2 RL iL

I
Imax
A Load line

Class A amplifier
Imax /2
Class A operating point

Pout

I max (Vm Vk ) 8

Vk

Vm+Vk 2

Vm

V
27

FOMs Output Power


The output power is frequently given in dBm:

Pout Pout

[ dBm ] [mW ]

= 10 log Pout = 10Pout [dBm]/10

[ mW ]

Examples: 1 mW = 0 dBm 10 mW = 10 dBm 20 mW = 13 dBm 100 mW = 20 dBm

-10 dBm = 0.1 mW 30 dBm = 1000 mW = 1 W 40 dBm = 10 W 50 dBm = 100 W

A FOM related to the output power is the output power density PDout:
- PDout in W/mm gate width (FETs) - PDout im mW/m2 emitter area (bipolar transistors)
Ref.: A. W. Scott, Understanding Microwaves, J. Wiley 1993

28

Basics of RF Devices I
Frank Schwierz
Technische Universitt Ilmenau, Germany

OUTLINE Introduction Mainstream Electronics vs. RF Electronics Transistor Concepts I RF Transistor Figures of Merit

Material Issues Special Needs for RF


History and Evolution of RF Transistors

TARGET Summer School, 13 September 2004 Europa Beach, Crete

29

Material Issues
Most Important for high speed (high fT and fmax) and for low noise:
Fast carriers, i.e. - high low-field mobility (0) - high peak and/or saturation velocity (vpeak , vsat)

Important for high output power:


- high breakdown voltage, i.e. wide bandgap - high thermal conductivity
Si EG, eV EBR, 105 V/cm 0, cm2/Vs vpeak, 107cm/s vsat, 107cm/s , W/cm-K 1.12 5.7 710 1 1 1.3 GaAs 1.42 6.4 4700 2 0.8 0.5 In0.47Ga0.53As 0.74 4 7000 2.5...3 0.7 0.05 4H SiC 3.2 33 610 2 2 2.9 GaN 3.44 44 830 2.5 1.5...2 1.2
30 Data for n-type material with ND = 1017 cm-3

Low-Field Mobility and Drift Veloctity


The slope at low fields corresponds to the low-field mobility 0 Peak velocity vpeak

Stationary velocity-field characteristics of GaAs

Electron velocity

Saturation velocity vsat

Electric field

31

Low-Field Mobility
10
5

Electron Low-Field Mobility, cm / Vs

InAs In0.53Ga0.47As

Carrier velocity at low electric field: v = 0 E In any semiconductor the electron mobility is larger than the hole mobility.
GaN 4H SiC

10

GaAs InP In0.52Al0.48As Al0.3Ga0.7As Si

Ge

10

Thus, for RF applications transistors where electrons carry the main current are preferred: n-channel FETs npn bipolars low-field mobility of electrons (undoped material, T = 300K)
32

6H SiC

10

Bandgap, eV

Drift Veloctity
Stationary velocity-field characteristics (v-E) Si and III-V semiconductors
3 GaAs In0.53Ga0.47 As InP Si

Wide bandgap semiconductors


3 GaN 4H SiC GaAs

Velocity, 10 cm/s

Velocity, 10 cm/s

50

100

150

200

100

200

300

400

Electric Field, kV/cm

Electric Field, kV/cm

33

Breakdown Voltage
10 10 Breakdown voltage, V 10 10 10 10
5

Breakdown voltage of abrupt one-sided pn junctions as a function of doping (at the low-doped side) The breakdown voltage is closely related to the breakdown field.
4H SiC 6H SiC GaP GaAs Si Ge

Bandgap increases 4H SiC EG = 3.20 eV GaAs EG = 1.42 eV Ge EG = 0.66 eV

10

14

10

15

10

16

10

17 -3

10

18

Background doping, cm

A large bandgap results in a large breakdown voltage. For power transistors a high breakdown voltage is important. LARGE POTENTIAL FOR WIDE BANDGAP MATERIALS!

34

Heterostructures
Heterostructures are semiconductor structures consisting of at least two different semiconductors are uncommon in mainstream electronics are frequently used in RF transistors - FETs: HEMTs - Bipolars: HBTs The RF transistors showing - the highest fT and fmax - the highest output power densities - the lowest noise are heterostructure transistors. Therefore it is useful to discuss some aspects of heterostructures in the following.
35

Heterostructures
The physics exploited in RF heterostructure transistors
Most important: band offsets EC and EV HEMTs (here: AlGaAs/GaAs HEMT)
EC EF

2DEG
EC
EC

EF EC EF EV EV

EV

EV

AlGaAs

GaAs

AlGaAs/GaAs

HBTs (here: AlGaAs/GaAs HBT)

Barrier for electrons

EC EF

Barrier for holes Emitter


n AlxGa1-x As

EV

Base
p GaAs
+

Collector
n GaAs

36

Heterostructures
Al0.3Ga0.7As GaAs Si Si0.85Gea0.15

1.80

1.422

1.12

0.995

EC = 0.219 EV = 0.159

EC = 0.02 EV = 0.105

Semiconductor pairs frequently used in heterostructures

In0.52Al 0.48As In0.53 Ga0.47 As


1.451 0.737

Al0.3Ga0.7N

GaN

4.04

3.44

EC = 0.52 EV = 0.194

EC = 0.42 EV = 0.18

37

Bandgap vs Lattice Constant


2.5
AlP GaP AlAs

HETEROSTRUCTURES:
Lattice matched - AlGaAs/GaAs - In0.52Al0.48As/In0.53Ga0.47As/InP Pseudomorphic (strained) - AlGaAs/InxGa1-xAs/GaAs - In0.52Al0.48As/InxGa1-xAs/InP - Si/Si1-xGex - AlxGa1-xN/GaN

Bandgap, eV

1.5
GaAs Si
10 20 30 40 50

InP

1
Ge

60 70

0.5

a = 5.6533 A Matched to GaAs

a = 5.8697 A Matched to InP

80 90

InAs

0 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 5.9

6.1

Lattice Constant, A

38

Pseudomorphics Heterostructures
Example: InGaAs/GaAs

AlGaAs

InGaAs

Grown pseudomorphic AlGaAs/InGaAs/GaAs heterostructure GaAs


The InGaAs layer is STRAINED (provided the critical thickness is not exceeded)

39

Critical Thickness
1000
Exp. AlGaN Exp. AlGaN Exp. InGaAs Empirical upper limit (AlGaN on GaN)

Critical thickness, nm

100

10

Empirical upper limit (InGaAs on GaAs)

1 0.0

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8

1.0
40

Composition x

Properties of 2DEGs
Heterojunction Type Al0.3Ga0.7As/GaAs Al0.3Ga0.7As/In0.2Ga0.8As In0.52Al0.48As/In0.53Ga0.47As Al0.3Ga0.7N/GaN 0, cm2/Vs 5400 6400 10 000 1 400 nS, cm-2 1.4 x 1012 2.2 x 1012 3.0 x 1012 1.3 x 1013 EG, eV 0.38 0.58 0.71 0.6 EC, eV 0.22 0.41 0.52 0.42

Common III-V heterostructures: - more In in the channel layer leads to higher mobility 0 - larger EC causes a higher higher sheet concentration nS Interesting for AlGaN/GaN: - lower mobility than III-V's - rather moderate EC but extremely high nS - WHY ? - reason: polarization effects

41

Basics of RF Devices I
Frank Schwierz
Technische Universitt Ilmenau, Germany

OUTLINE Introduction Mainstream Electronics vs. RF Electronics Transistor Concepts I RF Transistor Figures of Merit Material Issues Special Needs for RF

History and Evolution of RF Transistors

TARGET Summer School, 13 September 2004 Europa Beach, Crete

42

History and Evolution of RF Transistors


Basic HBT Patent 1950 Invention of the BJT

1980 Only two types of RF


transistors available: Si BJTs (fop up to 4 GHz) GaAs MESFETs (fop 4-18 GHz)

1960 First GaAs MESFET

First Ge BJT with GHz Operation

2004 Many different types of RF


transistors available: Bipolar: Si BJTs, SiGe HBTs, III-V HBTs FET: GaAs MESFETs, III-V HEMTs, Wide Bandgap HEMTs Si MOSFETs Frequency Limits III-V FETs: fmax > 600 GHz III-V HBTs: fmax 1.1 THz
43

1970

First HEMT First pHEMT First mHEMT

Basic HEMT Patent 1980 RF III-V HBTs First SiGe HBT 1990 RF Wide Bandgap FETs (SiC, GaN) 2000

III-V HBT with fm a x > 8 0 0 G H z

Trends in the Evolution of RF Transistors


Important Trends:
Continuous improvement of transistor performance
- Continuous increase of the frequency limits fT and fmax - Increase of the output power at a given frequency - Decrease of the minimum noise figure at a given frequency

During the last 10 years: Shift of the applications of RF systems from defense and space applications to commercial mass markets
- RF is becoming mainstream - Most commercial applications are in the lower GHz range

Development of low-cost RF transistors for mass consumer markets.


- Growing

role of of Si-based RF transistors - For mass markets, cost is an extremely important issue and Si technology is less expensive that any other semiconductor technology.
44

History and Evolution of RF Transistors


1000
GaAs pHEMT AlGaAs/GaAs HEMT GaAs MESFET InP HBT InP HEMT AlGaAs/GaAs HEMT Ge BJT

* InP HBT
InP HEMT

fmax , fT , GHz

100

Evolution of the frequency limits of RF transistors

10
fmax fT

Si BJT

* Transferred substrate

1960

1970

1980 Year

1990

2000

Continuous increase of the frequency fT and fmax .


45

History and Evolution of RF Transistors


10 10 Output power, W 10 10 10 10 10 10
4

Si BJT 1970 Si BJT 2003 FETs 2003 HBTs 2003

-1

-2

-3

10

100

Frequency, GHz
Output power of RF transistors vs frequency 1970: Only Si power BJTs for RF available 2003: Si BJTs, different HBT types, and different FETs types available 46

History and Evolution of RF Transistors


6 5 4 3 2 1 0
2003 1970 1980 1970 (Si BJTs) 1980 (GaAs MESFETs) 2003 (Lower Limit InP HEMTs)

Minimum Noise Figure, dB

10

100

Frequency, GHz

Minimum noise figure of low-noise RF transistors vs frequency 1970: Only Si power BJTs for RF available 1980: GaAs MESFET least noisy 2003: InP HEMTs least noisy

47