2258 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON MICROWAVE THEORY AND TECHNIQUES, VOL. 40, NO.
12, DECEMBER 1992
A New Empirical Nonlinear Model for HEMT and
MESFET Devices
Iltcho Angelov, Herbert Zirath, and Niklas Rorsman
AbstractA new large signal model for HEMTs and MES
FETs, capable of modeling the currentvoltage characteristic
and its derivatives, including the characteristic transconduc
tance peak, gatesource and gatedrain capacitances is de
scribed. Model parameter extraction is straightforward and is
demonstrated for different submicron gatelength HEMT de
vices including different &doped pseudomorphic HEMTs on
GaAs and lattice matched to InP, and a commercially available
MESFET. Measured and modeled dc and Sparameters are
compared and found to coincide well.
INTRODUCTION
IFFERENT empirical models suitable for simulation
D of GaAs MESFETs in nonlinear circuits have been
developed [1][6]. Some of the models have been incor
porated in commercial Harmonic Balance (HB) simula
tors. These models are used to predict gain, intermodu
lation distortion, generation of harmonics, etc, versus
bias, for circuits like amplifiers, mixers, and multipliers.
Recently, Maas et al. [6] pointed out that not only the
currentvoltage characteristic Zd, [ Vg,y, VdJ but also their
derivatives have to be modeled correctly, especially if the
model is supposed to predict intermodulation distortion.
In [6], the Zd, [V,,] dependence is modeled as a harmonic
series, and the coefficients are fitted to both the measured
Zd, [ V,,, Vd,] and its derivatives by using singularvalue
decomposition. Since the above models are intended
mainly to describe the performance of MESFETs, there
are increasing demands for general FET models, which
model both HEMTs and MESFETs. In particular, the
characteristic peak in the transconductance versus gate
voltage dependence found in most HEMTs must be cor
rectly modeled. In principle, the model utilized in [2], [6]
could be used, but many terms are normally needed and
parameter extraction requires special techniques.
We propose a new simple model, where parameter ex
traction can be made by simple inspection of the experi
mental Zd, [V,,, Vd,] and g, [V,,] dccharacteristics, which
models Zd, and its derivatives with good accuracy. The
model has been applied to FETs based on the following
material structures: AlGaAsGaAs, pseudomorphic
(AlGaAsInGaAsGaAs) (homogeneously doped and sin
gle and double &doped), lattice matched to I nP (AlInAs
GaInAsInP), and GaAs MESFETs with good results.
Manuscript received J uly 10, 1992; revised J uly 30, 1992.
The authors are with the Department of Applied Electron Physics, Chal
mers University of Technology, S41296, Goteborg, Sweden.
IEEE Log Number 9203679.
THE MODEL
The drain current function is expressed in accordance
with previous models as
where the first factor is dependent only on the gate voltage
and the second only on the drain voltage. The ZdB[Vd,]
term is the same as the one used in other models [ 11, [4].
For ZdA [ V, , ], however, we propose a function whose first
derivative has the same bell shaped structure as the
measured transconductance function g, [ V,,] . The hyper
bolic tangent (tanh) function describes the gate voltage
dependencies and its derivatives well and is normally
available in commercial HBsimulators i.e. :
where I pk is the drain current at which we have maximum
transconductance, with the contribution from the output
conductance subtracted. A is the channel length modula
tion parameter and Q is the saturation voltage parameter.
The parameters Q and X are the same as those in the Statz
and Curtice models. rc/ is in general a power series func
tion centered at V p k with V,, as a variable i.e.
$ =  I / pk) +p2( Vgs  Vp k l 2 +p3( Vgs  l / pkl 3 +9
(3)
where Vp k is the gate voltage for maximum transconduc
tance g mp k . The selected Id,[V,,, Vd,] function has well
defined derivatives. An advantage of the selected model
is its simplicity. The different parameters can as a first
approximation be easily obtained by inspection of the
measured Ids [ V,,, Vd,] at a saturated channel condition as
follows: all higher terms in rc/ are assumed to be zero, X
is determined from the slope of the Zd,Vd, characteristic,
I pk and Vp k are determined at the peak transconductance
g mp k . The intrinsic maximum transconductance g mp k is cal
culated from the measured maximum transconductance
gmpkm by taking into account the feedback effect due to the
source resistance, R,, which can be obtained from dc
measurement [7] :
gmpkm
( 1  Rs gmpkm)
gmpk = (4)
00189480/92$03.00 0 1992 IEEE
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ANGELOV er al.: EMPIRICAL NONLINEAR MODEL FOR HEMTIMESFET DEVICES 2259
PI is now obtained as
In some HEMTs, VPk is weakly dependent on the drain
voltage Vd , in the saturated region. This effect can be ac
counted for by
Vpk =Vpko + * Vds* (6)
In the nonsaturated region and for negative Vd, , V,, will
vary considerably with Vd, , as will be discussed later. The
dependence of Vpk on V d s must be found (experimentally
or modeled) and the model will predict the transistor per
formance correctly.
The same type of modeling functions were chosen to
model the dependencies on gate and drain voltage of ca
pacitances Cg, and c g d
Ci V g x , Vdsl = [Qnh (vgs)l CB[tad ( Vds) l (7)
as suggested in [ 8] , [9]. Due to the similarity of I d , [ Vg,,
Vds ] and cgs[Vgs, Vd, ] the functions can be expressed as
cgs =Cgs0[1 +tanh ( $1>1 +tanh ($211 ( 8 )
c g d =C g d o [ l +tardl ($313 [ l  t ad ($4)I (9)
where
$1 =pogsg +PI, Vgs +p2gs g Vis +p3gs g v; , +* * *
(10)
$2 =POgsd +Pl gs dVds +p2gsdV2s +P3gsdVi s +* '
( 1 1)
(12)
(13)
The term Plcc Vgs V d s reflects the crosscoupling of V,, and
v,d on c g d . When an accuracy on the order of 5 1 0 % of
Cg, and c g d is sufficient (8)(13) can be simplified to:
$3 = +pl gdg Vgs +p2gdg V i s +p3gdg Vis +' *
$4 =pOgdd +( pl gdd +pl c c V g s ) Vds +p2gdd Vis
+P J g d d v i s +* *
cgs =cgso[1 +tanh Vg s ) ] [1 +hnh ( pl gsd vds>l
(14)
c g d =c g d o [ 1 +tanh ( pl gdgVgs) l
' [1  tanh (plgdd Vds +plcc Vgs Vds)l a (15)
Equation (15) can be further simplified if crosscoupling
at large drain voltages ( V d , >1 V) is neglected:
Cgd =cgdo L1 +tanh ( pl gdg Vgs)] [1  tanh ( p l g d d Vds>I .
(16)
These equations (14)(16) are suitable for &doped
HEMTs with an undoped AlGaAs spacerlayer, as inves
tigated in this study, since they have a saturated Cg, [V,,]
characteristic for increasing Vgs due to the absence of par
asitic MESFET channel formation in the AlGaAs layer,
found in HEMTs with a doped AlGaAs layer.
EXPERIMENTAL VERIFICATION
The model parameters were extracted for a commer
cially available MESFET and different submicron gate
length devices, including different &doped pseudo
morphic HEMTs on GaAs and lattice matched to InP (Fig.
l ) , with mushroom gates of length from 0.15 pm to 0.35
pm and gate width from 50 pm to 200 pm, fabricated in
our laboratory at Chalmers University. fT and f,,, were
701 10 GHz and 120200 GHz respectively for the short
gatelength devices.
DCparameters were measured by using a HP 4145B
parameter analyser. In Figs. 25, the result of the mea
sured ( V d , =2 V) and the modeled dc parameters of the
different transistors is shown. For most devices, the func
tion $, extracted from the measured drain current I d s , is
almost a straight line and it is possible to use only the first
term in $ to model the transistor (Figs. 2, 3, 4). For some
of them (Fig. 5 ) it is necessary to use more terms to im
prove the fitting.
In Fig. 6(a), the measured variation of Vpk for one tran
sistor (PM3) with a gate width, L,, of 2 X 25 pm is
shown. At low and at negative values of Vd s , Vpk varies
strongly with Vd, . Therefore, the Vpk dependence also has
to be modeled if the operating conditions of the device
correspond to these cases. In the same figure, the modeled
V,, is plotted using different approximating functions for
the Vpk dependence. In Fig. 6(b) and (c), the measured
and modeled I d , and g, versus Vg, are presented.
The Sparameters were measured by Cascade probes
WPH405 connected to a Wiltron 360 Vector Network
Analyzer in the frequency range 0.562.5 GHz. Here we
present results of measurements of the HEMT (PM2) with
the gate width of 200 pm and gate length 0.35 pm for
which the influence of fringing and pad capacitances is of
less importance compared to the short gate width devices.
Sparameters were measured at the following bias points
for parameter extraction: V d s = 1 V, 0.5 V, 0 V,
0.75 V, 2 V, 3 V and Vg =1.5 V to +0. 5 V with a step
of 0.25 V. The parasitic parameters of the transistor (Fig.
7(a)) can be found most accurately at V d s =0. This re
gime is also important for mixers working in the resistive
23 V the transistor is working in its normal operating
mode.
The intrinsic parameters of the equivalent circuit (Fig.
7(a)) were derived. The parasitic parameters Lg, L d , L,,
Rg, Rd, C, were fixed at the parameter values extracted
from the Sparameter measurement at Vd, =0.
Our model was easily implemented in a commercial
Harmonic Balancesimulator (MDS from HP) as a custom
defined equation model. The model parameters of the PM2
(L, =200 pm, Lg =0.35 pm) HEMT are listed in Table
I. For this particular HEMT we have to include the cubic
mode [lo]. At V d s =0.75 v, I d, is saturated. At V d , =
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2260
50
40
'30
20
10
3
s
IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON MICROWAVE THEORY AND TECHNIQUES, VOL. 40, NO. 12, DECEMBER 1992
HEhf r  kI 00~
0 
Pseudomorphic HEMT (PM2)

5000A GaAs (undoped) <l.lO14nn3
Semiinsulating GaAs 650 pm
(a)
Double &doped HEMT (PM3)
Semiinsulating GaAs 650pm
(C)
1 pm GaAs (undoped)
Semiinsulating GaAs
(b)
Inpl
Fig. 1. Structure of the devices. (a) Ordinary HEMT. (b) Pseudomorphic HEMT (PM2). (c) Double &doped pseudomorphic
HEMT (PM3). (d) Lattice matched to InP HEMT.
Gate voltage, (v) Gate voltage, (v)
(a) (b)
60
50
1
HEm2x100 pn.
>
'CI
100.
0.5 0 . 0.5
Gate voltage, IV) Gate voltage, (V)
(C) (d)
Fig. 2. Measured V, =2 V (dots) and modeled (solid lines) characteristic of ordinary HEMT (L, =2 x 100 pm, L, =0.15
pm). (a) Drain current I,,, versus gate voltage, VgT (I,,, =31 mA, h =0.02, 01 =1.3, V,,, =0.51 V). (b) $function versus
gate voltage, VgJ ( P, =1.8, P2 =O,.P, =0.09). (c) Transconductance, g,", versus gate voltage, Vgr. (d) Derivative of the
transconductance d( g,) /dV,,.
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ANGELOV et al . : EMPIRICAL NONLINEAR MODEL FOR HEMTIMESFET DEVICES
2261
0.5  0 0.5 1
Gate voltage, (VI
(a)
Gate voltage, (V)
(b)
Gate voitage, (VI
(C)
HEMT ( PMZ)
ZXlWpnl
150
.
100 '
Gate voltage, (V)
( 4
Fig. 3. Measured Vd =2 V (dots) and modeled (solid lines) characteristics
of pseudomorphic HEMT (PM2) ( L, =2 x 100 pm, L, =0.15 pm). (a)
Drain current, Ids, versus gate voltage, Vgs (Ipk =38 mA, h =0.02, a! =
1.5, V,, =0.12 V). (b) $function versus gate voltage, Vgs ( PI =1.9, P2
=0, P3 =0.83). (c) Transconductance, g,, gate voltage, Vgs. (d) Deriv
ative of the transconductance d( g,)/dV,.
Gate voltage. (V)
(a)
Y
0.5 DoubkGdopcdHEMT
( PM3) .  ~100 pnl.
0
 0. 5
 1
1.5
 2 1.5 1 0.5 0 0.5
Gate voltage, (VI
(b)
'O0'
DoublcGdopdHEm
(PM3).2x100 pn.
80 '
1.5 1  0 . 5 0 0
Gate voltage, (VI
(c)
150t 1.5 1 0.5 0 0.5
Gate voltage, (V)
(4
Fig. 4. Measured Vd =2 V (dots) and modeled (solid lines) characteristics
of double 6doped HEMT (PM3) (L, =2 X 100 pm, L, =0.15 pm). (a)
Drain current, Ids, versus gate voltage, V,, (Ipk =69 mA, h =0.025, a! =
1.3, Vpk =0.0.25 V). (b) $function versus gate voltage ( PI =1.42, P2
=0, P3 =0.02). (c) Transconductance, g,, versus gate voltpge, Vps.
(d) Derivative of the transconductance d( g,)/dV,,.
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2262 IEEE TRANSACTIONS
Y
2 .
1.
0.
 1.
 2
3.
ON MICROWAVE THEORY AND TECHNIQUES, VOL. 40, NO. 12, DECEMBER 1992
InPHEMT
WO pm.
'
:;:L 10
5
0
0.5 0 0.5 1
Gate voltage, (V)
(a)
Gate voltage, (V)
(C)
J
0.5 0 0.5
80'
Gate voltage, (V)
(d)
Fig. 5. Measured Vd =2 V (dots) and modeled (solid lines) characteristics
of InPHEMT (L, =2 X 50 pm, L, =0.15 pm). (a) Drain current, I,,,
versus gate voltage, V,, (I,, =15 mA, X =0.02, Q! =1.5, v p k =0.02
V). (b) #function versus gate voltage, Vgs ( PI =2.4, P, =0.4, P3 =
0.02 V). (c) Transconductance, g,, versus gate voltage, VgS. (d) Derivative
of the transconductance d( g,)/dV,,.
Double Woped HEMT
I
1 0 1 2 3 4
Drain voltage, (V)
(a)
301 1
Double sdoped
(PM3).2x2sv.
2 0
10
20.
1
1 0.5 0 0.5
30'
Gate voltage,(V)
(b)
1 0.5 0 0. 5
Gate voltage, (VI
(C)
Fig. 6. Measured (dots) and modeled (solid lines) characteristics of double
&doped HEMT (PM3) ( L, =2 X 25 pm, L, =0.15 pm). (a) Vpeak versus
Vdr: I ) v,k =0.27 +0.65(Tanh [(V,, +0.34)] and 2) Vpk =0.1 +
0.5 V,  0.13V2s. (b) Drain current, Ids, versus gate voltage, V,, (I,, =
16 mA, h =0.03, (Y =1.3, P , =1.65, P2 =0, P3 =0. 5, VpI =0.27
+0.65(Tanh [(Vdr +0.3411). (c) Transconductance, g, , versus gate volt
age, VgS.
term in order to improve the fitting of the drain current
and its derivates at voltages close to pinchoff. All terms
except PI and P3 are zero.
In Fig. 7(b)(d), the measured and modeled ZdsVds
characteristics, the transconductance g,, and the output
resistance, Rds, are plotted, respectively.
Fig. 8 shows the measured and simulated Sparameters
of the transistor at different bias points. The difference
between the modeled and simulated values is small for all
Sparameters. The model has been also used to simulate
the performance of different nonlinear circuits like mix
ers and multipliers with good accuracy [12], [13].
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ANGELOV et al.: EMPIRICAL NONLINEAR MODEL FOR HEMTIMESFET DEVICES
2263
DRAIN
1
Cds
0
0 0  U 7
? 
2 5
a a
e n
w 
o o
Rdr
(ohm)
IO000
I000
100
IO
I
Fig. 7. Measured (dots) and modeled (solid lines) PM2 HEMT characteristics (L, =200 pm, L, =0.35 pm). (a) The equivalent
circuit of the transistor. (b) Drain current, Ids, versus drain voltage, Vd3. (c) Drain current, Ids, and transconductance, g,, versus
gate voltage, VgS. (d) Drainsource resistance, R,, gate voltage, VSs.
TABLE I
EXTRACTED PARAMETERS OF THE HEMT
3 3.5 3 6 60 0.28 35
IPk [mAl PI p3 v,, [VI h 01
26.3 3.35 I 0.55 0.02 3
Figs. 9(a)(c) show the measured and modeled depen
dencies of C,, and C,, for transistors with gate dimensions
of 200 pm x 0.35 pm. The commonly used models
(pnjunction or Statz models) are not appropriate for this
case. For the studied pulsedoped pseudomorphic HEMT
the following simple expressions were found (with simple
curve fitting procedure [ 111) giving an accuracy, which is
sufficient for most practical cases:
C,, =C,,,[l +tanh (V,,  0.0481/~s)]
[l +tanh (O.4Vds)] (17)
0 f r equency(GHz1 50
Fig. 8. The measured (dots) and modeled (solid lines) Sparameters of the
PM2 HEMT (L, =200 pm L, =0.35 pm) for Vds =2 V and VgS =0 V,
0.1 V and 0.45 V. (a) Magnitude of Szl. (b) S2, . (c) S,l. (d) Sz2.
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2264 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON MICROWAVE THEORY AND TECHNIQUES, VOL. 40, NO. 12, DECEMBER 1992
250.

0 2 4
Drain voltage, (VI
(a)
Drain voltage, (V)
(b)
0 2 4
Drain voltage, (VI
(C)
Fig. 9. Measured (dots) and modeled (solid lines) capacitances of the PM2
HEMT ( L, =200 pm, LR =0.35 pm) (C,,, =CRdo =145 fF). (a) C,,
versus v& eq. (17). (b) c,d versus vdreq. (18). (c) C,d versus V,, eq. (19).
cgd =C&[l +Qnh (0.48Vg,)]
* [1  tanh (0.551/,,  0.048Vis +0.2vgsvds)]
(18)
and for the simplified equation of C,, we obtain:
C,, =Cgdu[l +tanh (0.481/,,)][1  tanh (0.55Vds)]
(19)
where C,,, =Cgdu =145 f F are the capacitances for Vgs
In Fig. 9(b) and (c), the modeled C,, using (18) and
(19) are shown. Evidently even such a simple equation as
(19) gives good accuracy. When higher accuracy is re
quired more terms should be included.
=v,, =0.
Gate voltage, (V)
(a)
Y
MEsFEr
MGF1303
1.
0.
 1 0.5 0 0.5 1
Gate voltage, (VI
(b)
Gate voltage, (VI
(C)
MGF1303
 5 0 .
100
0 . 5  1 0.5 0
Gate voltage, (V)
(d)
Fig. 10. Measured (dots) and modeled (solid lines) MESFET (MGF1303)
characteristics. (a) Drain current, Ids, versus gate voltage, V,, (Ipk =49
mA, h =0.02, a =3). (b) $function versus gate voltage, V,, ( P, =1.4,
P, =0, P, =0.8, Vpk =0.2 V). (c) Transconductance, g,, versus gate
voltage, Vx5. (d) Derivative of the transconductance d( g,)/dVr,.
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ANGELOV er al . : EMPIRICAL NONLINEAR MODEL FOR HEMTIMESFET DEVICES 2265
0 Vds ( V1 5
00
00


 >
 E
U E
u u
a \ e a

VI
0.0
I
Fig. 11. Measured (dots) and modeled (solid lines) MESFET (MGF1303) characteristics. (a) The equivalent circuit of the
packaged transistor. (h) Drain current, Ids, versus drain voltage, Vds. (c) Transconductance, g,, versus gate voltage, Vgs. (d)
Drainsource resistance, Rdr, versus gate voltage, Vgs.
2.4 2.2 3.7 3.3 750 30 130 0.35 0.52 45 32 200 80 0.45
The same study was performed on an ordinary MES
FET and the model was shown to work equally well for
this kind of device. Model parameters were extracted for
packaged MESFETs fabricated by different manufac
tures. DC and Sparameters were measured using a
Maury MT950 transistor fixture and Wiltron 360/HP
8510 C ANA in the frequency range 0.118 GHz.
The measured and simulated dc parameters of the Mit
subishi MGF 1303, the drain current, Ids, the $function,
the transconductance, g,, the derivative of the transcon
ductance, g, , are shown in Fig. 10. We have used a more
complicated equivalent circuit of the transistor (Fig. 1 l(a))
to model the packaged transistors accurately. Parameters
were extracted in the same way as for the HEMT as de
scribed above. The model parameters listed in Table I1
extracted for a MESFET (MGF 1303), were used in Har
monic Balance Simulator (MDS) to simulate the dc and
microwave performance of this transistors.
In Fig. 1 l(b)(d) the measured and modeled I ds vds de
pendence, the transconductance, g,, versus gate voltage
V,,, the output resistance, Rds, for this packaged transistor
are shown. Measured and simulated Sparameters for the
MESFET at different bias conditions are shown in Fig.
12. The difference between measured and modeled I ds
versus Vgs, g, and S,, is less than 5%.
CONCLUSIONS
A practical, simple, and accurate largesignal empirical
model capable of modeling the drain currentgate voltage
characteristic and its derivatives, and the capacitances C,,
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2266 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON MICROWAVE THEORY AND TECHNIQUES, VOL. 40, NO. 12, DECEMBER 1992
MGFI303
SI I
MGF1303
I I L 1
(c) (d)
Fig. 12. The measured (dots) and simulated (solid lines) Sparameters of
the MESFET (MGF1303) (Vds =3 V; V,, =0 V, 0.45 V, 0.6 V). (a)
Magnitude of S2, . (b)
(c) Sl l . (d) S2?.
and C,, for HEMTs and MESFETs is presented. Param
eter extractionand the incorporation of this model into
commercial software tool is straightforward. The model
has been used to predict the dc and Sparameters of the
devices and to simulate the performance of different non
linear circuits like mixers and multipliers with good ac
curacy.
ACKNOWLEDGMENT
The authors would like to thank C. Karnfelt at Ericsson
Radar Electronics (ERE) for help with the substrates and
bonding, and T. Andersson at Chalmers University of
Technology for fabricating the test fixtures, and C. Karls
son for help with the fabrication of HEMTs. The Swedish
Defence Material Administration (FMV) and The Swed
ish National Board for Industrial and Technical Devel
opment (NUTEK) are acknowledged for financial sup
port, QED and NSI for growing MBE heterostructure ma
terials, and Prof. E. Kollberg, Dr. L. Lundgren, Dr. T.
Lewin, Dr. R. Weikle and G. Ericsson for their support
of this work. I
REFERENCES
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[6] S. Maas and D. Neilson, Modeling of MESFETs for intermodula
tion analysis of mixers and amplifiers, in 1990 IEEE MTTS Micro
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[7] R. Holmstrom, W. Bloss, and J . Chi, A gate probe method of de
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[lo] S. Maas, A GaAs MESFET mixer with very low intermodulation,
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[l l ] S. Wolfram, Mathematica. Reading, MA: AddisonWesley, 1991.
[12] I. Angelov, H. Zirath, N. Rorsman, and H. Gronqvist, A balanced
millimeter wave doubler based on pseudomorphic HEMTs, in I992
IEEE MTTS Microwave Symp. Dig., p. 353356.
[13] I. Angelov, H. Zirath, N. Rorsman, E. Kollberg, Characteristics of
millimeter wave drain mixer, in 1992 EUMC Rec., Helsinki, Fin
land.
Iltcho Angelov received the M.S. degree in elec
tronics in 1969 and the Ph.D. degree in physics
and mathematics in 1973.
He worked with parametric amplifiers, IM
PATT and Gunn oscillators, studied nonlinear ef
fects and synchronisation phenomena in these de
vices. Since 1976 he has worked with microwave
low noise transistor amplifiers, including criogen
ically cooled amplifiers. Recently his research ac
tivity is in the field of HEMT nonlinear modelling
and develoument of millimeter wave HEMT mix
ers and multipliers.
Herbert Zirath received the M.Sc. degree in
electrical engineering in 1980 and the Ph.D. de
gree in 1986 from Chalmers University of Tech
nology, Goteborg, Sweden.
Since 1980, he has been workmg as a re
searcher at Chalmers on cooled millimeterwave
Schottky diode mixers and on the properties of
millimeterwave Schottky bamer diodes In ad
dition, he has been responsible for the develop
ment of active millimeterwave components like
MESFET and HEMT including their modeling,
and related circuits, like mixers, amplifiers and harmonic generators, since
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lg86.
Niklas Rorsman received the M.Sc. degree in engineering physics in 1988
and the degree of licentiate of engineering in 1992 from Chalmers Univer
sity of Technology. He is currently working towards the Ph.D. degree.
Since 1988 he has been working with development of heterostructure field
effect transistors and their applications.
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