Location: 2111 Engineering Hall
Date and Time: March 8th, 2012, 2:00-3:30PM

Professor Payam Heydari (Chair)
Professor Michael Green
Professor Peter Burke

Title: Silicon-Based Integrated Circuits for W-Band Fully Integrated Passive Imaging

Silicon technology, with its superior integration capability and low cost, has changed the world dramatically during the past few decades and recently has entered the realm of millimeter-wave (MMW) system design that is used to be dominated by III-V compound semiconductor technologies. Benefiting from the continuous feature size scaling of silicon technology, passive MMW imagers could be built on chip which paves the way for developing low-cost, compact wafer-scale imagers. This dissertation focuses on the design of fully integrated W-band passive imager and also covers the design of W-band synthesizer which is one of the most critical and challenging building blocks of the imaging receiver. Two chips for 96GHz frequency generation incorporating the same Ka-band PLL and (1) an injection-locked frequency tripler (ILFT); (2) a harmonic-based frequency tripler (HBFT) in 0.18?m SiGe BiCMOS (fT/fmax=200/180GHz) are presented. The ILFT and HBFT preceded by the same Ka-band PPL achieve measured closed-loop phase noise of -93dBc/Hz and -92dBc/Hz at 1MHz offset, respectively. Both chips are designed under the same power consumption of 14mW from 1.8V/2.5V supplies. This work presents the first implementation of an injection-locked-based frequency multiplier in SiGe BiCMOS process. W-band transformer-based injection-locked frequency tripler (T-ILFT) is also designed and implemented in 65nm standard CMOS technology using a 0.8V supply voltage. THe use of injection locking topology with on-chip transformer provides several advantages over conventional design. A fully integrated W-band 2×2 focal-plane array (FPA) for passive millimeter-wave imaging is demonstrated in 0.18?m SiGe BiCMOS process. The FPA incorporates four Dicke-type receivers representing four imaging pixels. Each receiver employs the direct-conversion architecture with an on-chip slot folded dipole antenna. The LO signal is generated by a shared Ka-band PLL and distributed symmetrically to four local ILFTs. This imaging receiver (without antenna) achievers a measured average responsivity and noise equivalent power of 285MV/W and 8.1fW/Hz1/2, respectively, across the 86-106GHz bandwidth, which results a calculated NETD of 0.48K with a 30ms integration time. The system NETD increases to 3K with on-chip antenna due to its low efficiency at W-band. This work demonstrates the highest integration level of any silicon-based systems in the 94GHz imaging band.