Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Electrical Engineering

Major Professor

Lawrence P. Dunleavy, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Huseyin Arslan, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Thomas Weller, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Dennis Killinger, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Miguel Labrador, Ph.D.


Nonlinear system, Nonlinear modeling, Frequency-domain modeling, Large-signal network analysis, Memory effect


Accurate linear and nonlinear models for devices and components are essential for successful RF/microwave computer aided engineering (CAE). The modeling techniques can be categorized in different levels based on the abstraction of the model as well as the application of the models at various design phases. This dissertation deals with behavioral modeling techniques for nonlinear RF components, especially amplifiers.

There is an increasing demand for accurate behavioral models of RF and microwave components, or integrated circuit (IC) blocks used in wireless system designs. Accurate behavioral models help designers evaluate and select the appropriate components at simulation phase, thereby cutting development cost.

However, there isnt a practical (or flexible) solution for accurate and effective behavioral model generation. This dissertation tries to tackle this problem. Power amplifiers and devices are the main components studied in this dissertation.

The primary focus is on the characterization of the loadpull performance of power amplifiers and devices. Major contributions of this dissertation include development of advanced loadpull measurement procedures, large-signal load-aware behavioral model, and a load-aware behavioral model with memory-effect capabilities.

There are two advanced loadpull measurements documented in this dissertation: the AM-PM loadpull measurement and the digital demodulation loadpull measurement. These two measurements may have been used internally by some research groups, however, according to the best knowledge of the author, they havent received much attention in the literature. This is the first published work on these two topics.

It is shown in this work that the AM-PM performance can be strongly dependent on the load conditions. This property provides important information about the nonlinearities of power amplifiers and is used herein to create better behavioral models.

This newly developed digital demodulation loadpull measurement procedure enables system designers to evaluate power amplifiers directly against digital communication system parameters such as error vector magnitude (EVM). Two example measurements are given to demonstrate the measurement system setup and the correlations between traditional nonlinear figure-of-merits and system metrics.

A new behavioral modeling technique / procedure is developed based on loadpull AM-AM and AM-PM measurements. The large-signal scattering function theory is applied in the technique to formulate the model. The created model is able to automatically detect the load impedance and generate corresponding nonlinear properties. Three example models are presented to demonstrate the capability of this technique to predict accurately the output power contours, 50 ohm large-signal S21, and 3rd order intermodulation products (through additional file-based model).

Finally, a modeling technique is demonstrated to enable predicting the linear memory effect within a varying load condition. The nonlinear block used in the traditional two-box model structure is replaced with the large-signal loadpull model mentioned above. By adding this new feature, the resulting model is able to predict the load-related AM-AM and AM-PM properties, which will improve the accuracy of ACPR prediction.