Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Electrical Engineering


Electrical Engineering


Dennis Derickson


Due to the rapid development of telecommunication devices, operating speeds are getting faster and more power is being consumed by those devices. Therefore, there is a big concern on how to prolong the battery life in order to fit consumers’ needs. Power amplifiers (PA) at the front end of wireless equipment have drawn a big concern from engineers because of their large power consumption in the system. There is a lot research conducted on PA solutions for improving power-added efficiency (PAE) of amplifiers. PAE is a figure of merit representing how efficient the PA converts DC power to RF power. With PAE increased, the device is able to output the same amount of power with less DC power consumed. Non-linear Class-F and Class-F-1 PAs have drawn the most attention among all different classes of PAs from engineers because of their capability of outputting high power and providing good PAE. Class-F boosts up PAE by controlling the harmonic content at the output.

Advanced Design System (ADS) from Agilent is used for design and simulation based on the ADS model of Cree’s CGH40010 high electron mobility transistor (HEMT). A high efficiency power amplifier is fabricated on RT/duroid 5870 high frequency laminate board. In this design, the harmonics at the input are controlled as well as the harmonics at the output. An input wave-shaping network is designed to shape the waveforms at the gate. In this case, the PAE is boosted 30% higher than the PA with only the output wave-shaping network. By terminating harmonics with proper impedances at the output, a square voltage waveform and a half-sine current waveform are obtained at the transistor drain terminal. The overlapping area between the voltage and current waveforms can be reduced as well as the active device power consumption. The final design operating at 1GHz produced a PAE of 89% with 38.35dBm output power in simulation and PAE of 78% with 38.7dBm output power as the result of the IEEE PA design contest.

The thesis has shown the effectiveness of the Class-F PA to boost up PAE by preventing the 2nd and 3rd harmonic power from delivering to the load and shaping the waveforms at the transistor terminals. It also shows the benefit of using radial stubs in wave-shaping networks over open-circuit stubs.