Broadband MMIC LNAs for ALMA Band 2+3 With Noise Temperature Below 28 K

David Cuadrado-Calle, Danielle George*, Gary A. Fuller, Kieran Cleary, Lorene Samoska, Pekka Kangaslahti, Jacob W. Kooi, Mary Soria, Mikko Varonen, Richard Lai, Xiaobing Mei

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)
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Recent advancements in transistor technology, such as the 35 nm InP HEMT, allow for the development of monolithic microwave integrated circuit (MMIC) low noise amplifiers (LNAs) with performance properties that challenge the hegemony of SIS mixers as leading radio astronomy detectors at frequencies as high as 116 GHz. In particular, for the Atacama Large Millimeter and Submillimeter Array (ALMA), this technical advancement allows the combination of two previously defined bands, 2 (67-90 GHz) and 3 (84-116 GHz), into a single ultra-broadband 2+ 3 (67-116 GHz) receiver. With this purpose, we present the design, implementation, and characterization of LNAs suitable for operation in this new ALMA band 2+ 3, and also a different set of LNAs for ALMA band 2. The best LNAs reported here show a noise temperature less than 250 K from 72 to 104 GHz at room temperature, and less than 28 K from 70 to 110 GHz at cryogenic ambient temperature of 20 K. To the best knowledge of the authors, this is the lowest wideband noise ever published in the 70-110 GHz frequency range, typically designated as W-band.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1589-1597
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Atacama Large Millimeter and Submillimeter Array (ALMA)
  • band 2+3
  • broadband
  • cryogenic
  • low noise amplifier (LNA)
  • monolithic microwave integrated circuit (MMIC)
  • 35 nm InP
  • W-band
  • WR-10


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