Date of Award

Fall 2013

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Saeed Mohammadi

Committee Chair

Saeed Mohammadi

Committee Member 1

Byunghoo Jung

Committee Member 2

Dimitrios Peroulis

Committee Member 3

Kaushik Roy


The low manufacturing cost, integration capability with baseband and digital circuits, and high operating frequency of nanoscale CMOS technologies have propelled their applications into RF and microwave systems. Implementing fully-integrated RF to millimeter-wave (mm-wave) CMOS power amplifiers (PAs), nevertheless, remains challenging due to the low breakdown voltages of CMOS transistors and the loss from on-chip matching networks. These limitations have reduced the design space of CMOS power amplifiers to narrow-band, low linearity metrics often with insufficient gain, output power, and efficiency.

A new topology for implementing power amplifiers based on stacking of CMOS SOI transistors is proposed. The input RF power is coupled to the transistors using on-chip transformers, while the gate terminal of teach transistor is dynamically biased from the output node. The output voltages of the stacked transistors are added constructively to increase the total output voltage swing and output power. Moreover, the stack configuration increases the optimum load impedance of the PA to values close to 50 ohm, leading to power, efficiency and bandwidth enhancements. Practical design issues such as limitation in the number of stacked transistors, gate oxide breakdown, stability, effect of parasitic capacitances on the performance of the PA and large chip areas have also been addressed. Fully-integrated RF to mm-wave frequency CMOS SOI PAs are successfully implemented and measured using the proposed topology.