Design of High Efficiency Broadband Adjusted Class AB Power Amplifier
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This thesis starts with a discussion of different classes of operation of power amplifiers (PAs). Comparing advantages and disadvantages of these classes, class AB is chosen as the best initial candidate for the design of broadband PA. Different methods for design of matching networks are first discussed. Some of them fall into the group of narrowband matching networks, while others are suitable for a broadband context. Broadband design methodologies are categorized into two groups of real-to-real transformations and complex-to-real transformations. Complex-to-real transformations are the most useful methods for this project, since design of power amplifiers deals with complex loads rather than just real loads. The design of broadband matching networks exploiting filter theory is presented in this thesis for synthesizing broadband and highly efficient power amplifiers (PAs). Starting with sets of optimum impedances over the targeted frequency band, the matching networks are designed using a systematic approach. The effects of load termination at the 2nd and 3rd harmonic on the PA performance (efficiency) are studied. The significance of proper termination, especially at the 2nd harmonic, is highlighted. To prevent further complication of the design process, though, specific harmonic termination (stubs) is avoided and special arrangement of the matching network (position of the bias network) is preferred, as it is found to lead to acceptable efficiency. Two PA prototypes were designed with the proposed methodology using 25W GaN devices. The designs targeted two frequency bands: 1.8 to 2.2 GHz (20% BW) and 1.8 to 2.7 GHz (40% BW). For the former, drain efficiency (DE) of 70% (+/–5%) and output power of 45.5 dBm (+/- 1.0dB) was measured while the latter achieved very promising efficiency of about 60% over the entire bandwidth.