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Enhancement of the performance of GaN IMPATT diodes by negative differential mobility
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A theoretical analysis of high-efficiency punch-through operation GaN-based terahertz IMPATT diodes has been carried out in this paper. It is shown that the negative differential mobility (NDM) characteristics of GaN coupled with the space charge effect acting as a self-feedback system can markedly increase the drift velocity of injection carriers, and thereby enhance diode performance under appropriate external RF voltage. The behavior of traveling electrons in the transit zone is investigated in detail. It is found that the IMPATT diode with a punch-through structure operating in the NDM mode exhibits superior characteristics compared with the equivalent diode operating in the Si-like constant mobility mode. In particular, the NDM-mode diode can tolerate a larger RF voltage swing than that operating in constant mobility mode. Numerical simulation results reveal that the highest efficiency of 26.6% and maximum RF power of 2.29 W can be achieved for the NDM-mode diode at a frequency of 225 GHz. A highest efficiency of 19.0% and maximum RF power of 1.58 W are obtained for the diode with constant mobility.
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