Monolithic High Voltage Impulse Amplifier Using HBT



Lehigh University has developed a method for circuit design for amplifying short impulses using monolithic HBT technology. 


HBT has the desirable characteristics of high transit frequency (fT) and breakdown voltage for the generation of high power at radio and microwave frequencies. In normal operation the generated power is lower than expected mainly due to the Kirk effect. Through their research, Lehigh has found that under isothermal common base Class-C operation, the threshold for the onset of the Kirk effect is much higher so that the HBT can generate much higher power.


This technology takes advantage of this finding and an HBT-based impulse amplifiers were designed to generate narrow impulses (<200ps) with high amplitudes (>7V) with high gain, high efficiency and compact size. Additionally, control circuits are also designed for fine-tuning the pulse width and amplitude. Applications include transmitting devices in compact high power ultra-wideband communication, ground penetrating radar systems (GPRS), and RFID technologies.


Lehigh Tech ID#040108-01




Ultra-wideband (UWB) technology is used in wireless technologies and its applications reach the military, entertainment, and automotive sectors. Demand for enhanced performance from UWB technologies in growing, creating an open window of opportunities for new entrants. Additionally, there is a general rise in the communication sector leading to an influx of hand-held devices that utilize UWB with over 6 million UWB devices sold each year.[1] In the RFID sector, applications are expanding as researchers develop devices for structural health monitoring, asset and inventory tracking, and medical and environmental sensors.

[1] Mohit Lad. “Ultra-Wideband: The Next Generation Personal Area Network Technology.” iGate web site. (accessed January 13, 2012).



Lehigh University is ultimately looking to out-license this technology, but is also interest in co-development opportunities.

App Type Country Serial No. Patent No. File Date Issued Date Expire Date
Nationalized PCT United States 12/922,491 8,183,933 9/14/2010 5/22/2012 6/22/2029
For Information, Contact:
Rick Smith
Lehigh University
James Hwang
Subrata Halder
Renfeng Jin