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Integrated Circuit Signal Generation and Detection Techniques for Microwave and Sub-Millimeter Wave Signals


Bohn, Florian (2012) Integrated Circuit Signal Generation and Detection Techniques for Microwave and Sub-Millimeter Wave Signals. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/Q018-QP18.


The unabated reduction of device feature sizes in semiconductor processes, particularly in complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) processes, has served as the enabling factor behind integrated electronic systems of ever increasing complexity and speeds. As a result, former niche market applications, such as the global-positioning system (GPS), cellular telephony or powerful general purpose computers, have expanded into the field of consumer electronics with tremendous impact on the daily lives of millions of people. It is, therefore, only logical that the future will bring new applications to the mass market that today only exist as niche applications. Systems operating in the millimeter wave frequency range are an example of a current niche market, with current research striving to fully integrate such systems using advanced semiconductor processing technology. Electromagnetic waves at these frequencies become comparable in size to the electronics circuits. This opens the possibility for novel design approaches that were traditionally not available to integrated circuit radio-frequency designers. On the other hand, the increase in the number of available devices also brings with it new challenges due to increasing variability in device performance. Self-correcting techniques for integrated circuits that offset this increased variability are therefore also highly desirable.

In this dissertation, we explore the above issues on several fronts. We will first present a phase-locked loop synthesizer that auto-corrects its spurious output tones as an example of circuits that correct for a parasitic effect by leveraging the availability of many active devices to construct a digital feedback loop. We will then focus on the effort to operate CMOS integrated circuits in the terahertz regime by developing a solid design foundation for converting signals to frequencies beyond the maximum power gain frequency〖 f〗_max. We will use the insights gained to develop and explore two designs generating power at these high frequencies as proofs of concept. Finally, we will focus on the passive electromagnetic components of such high frequency systems and present a novel way of designing electromagnetic structures that are comparable to the wavelength size in integrated systems by introducing the third physical dimension into the design process for integrated electromagnetic structures.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:CMOS; Integrated Circuits; Millimeter Wave Generation; Phase-Locked Loops; Frequency Synthesizers; Spurious Tones; Phased-Array System; 3-Dimensional Integrated Circuits;
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Electrical Engineering
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Hajimiri, Ali
Thesis Committee:
  • Hajimiri, Ali (chair)
  • Rutledge, David B.
  • Emami, Azita
  • Weinreb, Sander
  • Chattopadhyay, Goutam
Defense Date:26 August 2011
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:01082012-184435123
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:6765
Deposited By: Florian Bohn
Deposited On:26 Jan 2012 23:38
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 23:54

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