Project Info

Multiphysics Optimization of GaN-Based Power Transistors for 5G mm-Wave Operation

Peter Aaen

Project Goals and Description:

High-frequency power transistors are an essential component of  fifth-generation (5G) communications.  As operational frequencies increase to almost 30 Ghz (a factor of ten over current mobile phones), the efficiency of the transistor significantly degrades.   In this project we will examine the, the design of the transistor using a multiphysic simulation methodology where electromagnetic simulation results (through S-parameters), thermal models (through a thermal impedance matrix), and nonlinear electrothermal transistor models are coupled in the netlist of a circuit simulator. This provides a comprehensive description of the transistor for computationally efficient simulation.  Using this approach, the voltages and currents at all nodes of interest within the packaged device are available, and they can be interrogated to develop a better understanding of its internal operation and then improve its efficiency.

More Information:

Grand Challenge: Not applicable.

Dr. Aaen maintains a website with several of his latest publications and an overview of his teams research:

A paper that may be of interest:

Primary Contacts:

Dr Peter Aaen,

Student Preparation


The student should have a good knowledge of circuit theory and an understanding of transistors and amplifiers and a willingness to analyze data in Matlab.




The student will gain significant experience in several areas.  First they will learn how to develop and manage a program of research and learn how to create re I’m search plans.  The student will then learn circuit simulation techniques in Keysight’s Advanced Design System (ADS), used throughout the microwave industry, and also techniques to present and analyze data.


The student will join Dr. Aaen’s research team and have frequent interactions with him and his students.   Once the objectives of the project have been agreed upon the student will meet with Dr. Aaen every two weeks to share progress, present results and plan next steps.   The students will also be able to interact with other research students and Dr. Aaen either in person or via the team’s slack group.


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