This paper demonstrates how the linearity performance of a 10 W GaN HEMT can be dramatically improved by actively engineering the baseband impedance environment around the device. An important refinement to existing active load-pull measurement capability is proposed that allows the precise and independent control of all significant baseband and RF components that result from the amplification of a complex 9-carrier multi-sine modulation. The synthesis of constant, modulation frequency independent negative baseband impedances, resulting in specific baseband voltage waveforms has delivered a 24 dB improvement in ACPR compared to the classical baseband short case, even when the device is operating with RF components terminated into a non-optimal 50Ω RF environment. This linearization concept is further investigated through the broadband emulation of a class-J impedance environment around a single device. Using this enhanced system and a two-tone modulated excitation, optimum baseband loads are identified that result in a 18.5 dB and 24 dB improvement in IM 3 and IM 5 inter-modulation products respectively, again relative to the case of a traditional IF short circuit. The significance of this last observation is that unlike the 50Ω case, the optimum class-J IM 3 and IM 5 baseband impedances disperse, becoming reactive and moving away from the real axis.
Akmal, M., Carrubba, V., Lees, J., Ben Smida, S., Benedikt, J., Morris, K., Beach, M., McGeehan, J., & Tasker, P. J. (2011). Linearity enhancement of GaN HEMTs under complex modulated excitations by optimizing the baseband impedance environment. In 2011 IEEE MTT-S International Microwave Symposium  IEEE. https://doi.org/10.1109/MWSYM.2011.5972833