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Home Material Sciences Development And Investigation Of Fast-Operating Microwave Switching Devices With 4h-Sic Pin Diodes For The 1 - 40 Ghz Frequency Range

Development And Investigation Of Fast-Operating Microwave Switching Devices With 4h-Sic Pin Diodes For The 1 - 40 Ghz Frequency Range


We propose to develop the design and technology, make prototypes and carried out comprehensive investigations of a number of small-size microwave devices with fast-operating high-voltage 4H-SiC pin diodes for control over amplitude and phase of microwave signals in the 1 - 40 GHz frequency range. The devices are to be developed using the hybrid integrated circuit technology. The study of device characteristics is to be performed at low (up to 200 mW) and high (up to 100 W) levels of continuous microwave power over the wide (-70o - +400o С) temperature range.

Innovative Aspect and Main Advantages

The heat conductivity of 4H-SiC is almost for times that of silicon, and operating temperatures of the 4H-SiC devices can be at least four times those of the Si devices. The avalanche field in 4H-SiC is ~2.2x106 V/cm, while in Si it is ~2.5x105 V/cm. So the SiC pin diodes can switch microwave signals of power ten times that of the Si pin diodes (with the same i-layer thickness), and with the same switching speed.

In the framework of the NATO “Science for Peace” Program Project SfP 978011 “Microwave Switching Units Based on 4H-SiC p-i-n Diodes (SICPIN)”, the authors have developed the manufacturing and packaging technologies for the 4H-SiC pin diodes that can operate in the 20 - 700oС temperature range. The investigations carried out by the authors in the course of Project SfP 978011 realization demonstrated also the possibility of development of broad band microwave amplitude modulators with such diodes intended for the X and Ka ranges, with the transmission losses of 1.5 - 2.0 dB and isolation of over 25 - 40 dB. The modulators operated at pulse microwave power levels up to 1 - 2 kW.

Areas of Application

The application areas of the fast-operating microwave switching devices with 4H-SiC pin diodes are as follows: the technologies of electronically scanned antennas for radars, communication systems and navigation. The technology of electronically scanned antennas finds wide application in various programs of development of modern ground-, sea-, air- and space-based radars that are realized by the leading world companies.

The known advantages of the electronically scanned antennas determine the search for novel technical solutions making it possible to improve the characteristics and extend the capabilities of transceiver modules which are the design basis for the active arrays. The fundamental circuit arrangement of transceiver module practically depends but slightly on the wavelength.

Usually it involves a low-noise amplifier, power amplifier, transmit-receive switch and phase shifter. Application of the fast-operating microwave switching devices with 4H-SiC pin diodes (that are capable of reliable operation at high microwave power levels and elevated temperature) will increase considerably the efficiency of electronically scanned antennas.

Fig. 1 The general view of the packaged modulator with 4H-SiC pin diodes and microwave hybrid integrated circuit (a).
The view of the modulator on the side of the pin diode control unit (b). A ruler with mm scale is shown beside the modulator.

Stage of Development

The laboratory testing of the prototypes.

Contact Details

Boltovets Mykola Sylovych,
Tel. / Fax: +380 44 456-05-48
E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


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