On the Compression and Blocking Distortion of Semiconductor-Based Varactors

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  • Author: Peter Zampardi

The effective capacitance of variable reactors (varactors) can be modulated by the magnitude of applied RF signals, resulting in troublesome detuning issues in resonators constructed with these devices. In this paper, the fundamental causes behind these issues are investigated through the use of Volterra series. It is concluded that two major distortion mechanisms, namely, compression and blocking, are responsible for this effective capacitance change under RF excitation. In light of this observation, different varactor configurations are proposed and investigated, yielding novel devices with much smaller capacitance variation, typically on the order of 0.1 0.5 compared to 10 50 for conventional semiconductor-based varactors. With this improvement, the resonance frequency shift of a 2-GHz resonator is decreased from 300 to 5 MHz for worst case conditions, a property essential to tunable high- filter applications. Among all analyzed structures, the varactor topology that facilitates can