Design of radiation-hardened RF low-noise amplifiers using inverse-mode SiGe HBTs

Ickhyun Song, Seungwoo Jung, Nelson E. Lourenco, Uppili S. Raghunathan, Zachary E. Fleetwood, Saeed Zeinolabedinzadeh, Tikurete B. Gebremariam, Farzad Inanlou, Nicholas J.H. Roche, Ani Khachatrian, Dale McMorrow, Stephen P. Buchner, Joseph S. Melinger, Jeffrey H. Warner, Pauline Paki-Amouzou, John D. Cressler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


A SiGe RF low-noise amplifier (LNA) with built-in tolerance to single-event transients is proposed. The LNA utilizes an inverse-mode SiGe HBT for the common-base transistor in a cascode core. This new cascode configuration exhibits reduced transient peaks and shorter transient durations compared to the conventional cascode one. The improved SET response was verified with through-wafer two-photon absorption pulsed-laser experiments and supported via mixed-mode TCAD simulations. In addition, analysis of the RF performance and the reliability issues associated with the inverse-mode operation further suggests this new cascode structure can be a strong contender for space-based applications. The LNA with the inverse-mode-based cascode core was fabricated in a 130 nm SiGe BiCMOS platform and has similar RF performance to the conventional schematic-based LNA, further validating the proposed approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6940327
Pages (from-to)3218-3225
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Cascode
  • inverse-mode
  • low-noise amplifier (LNA)
  • mixed-mode simulation
  • pulsed-laser
  • radiation-hardening-by-design (RHBD)
  • siGe HBT
  • single-event effect (SEE)
  • single-event transient (SET)
  • two photon absorption (TPA)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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