Microwave Oscillator with Phase Noise Reduction Using Nanoscale Technology for Wireless Systems

  • Mohammed Aqeeli

Student thesis: Phd


This thesis introduces, for the first time, a novel 4-bit, metal-oxide-metal (MOM) digital capacitor switching array (MOMDCSA) which has been implemented into a wideband CMOS voltage controlled oscillator (VCO) for 5 GHz WiMAX/WLAN applications. The proposed MOMDCSA is added both in series and parallel to nMOS varactors. For further gain linearity, a wider tuning range and minor phase noise variations, this varactor bank is connected in parallel to four nMOS varactor pairs, each of which is biased at a different voltage. Thus, VCO tuning gain reduces and optimal phase noise variation is obtained across a wide range of frequencies. Based on this premise, a wideband VCO is achieved with low phase noise variation of less than 4.7 dBc/Hz. The proposed VCO has been designed using UMC 130 nm CMOS technology. It operates from 3.45 GHz to 6.23 GHz, with a phase noise of -133.80 dBc/Hz at a 1 MHz offset, a figure of merit (FoM) of -203.5 dBc/Hz.A novel microstrip low-phase noise oscillator is based on a left-handed (LH) metamaterial bandpass filter which is embedded in the feedback loop of the oscillator. The oscillator is designed at a complex quality factor Qsc peak frequency, to achieve excellent phase noise performance. At a centre frequency of 2.05 GHz, the reported oscillator demonstrates, experimentally, a phase noise of -126.7 dBc/Hz at a 100 kHz frequency offset and a FoM of -207.2 dBc/Hz at a 1 MHz frequency offset.The increasing demands have been placed on the electromagnetic compatibility performance of VCO devices is crucial. Therefore, this thesis extends the potential of highly flexible and conductive graphene laminate to the application of electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding. Graphene nanoflake-based conductive ink is printed on paper, and then it is compressed to form graphene laminate with a conductivity of 0.43×105 S/m. Shielding effectiveness is experimentally measured at above 32 dB as being between 12GHz and 18GHz, even though the thickness of the graphene laminate is only 7.7µm. This result demonstrates that graphene has great potential for offering lightweight, low-cost, flexible and environmentally friendly shielding materials which can be extended to offering required shielding from electromagnetic interference (EMI), not only for VCO phase noise optimisation, but also for sensitive electronic devices.
Date of Award1 Aug 2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorZhirun Hu (Supervisor) & Zhipeng Wu (Supervisor)


  • phase noise variation, VCO gain, tuning range, figure of merit, filter-based oscillator, free-running oscillator, metamaterials, phase noise, transmission lines, Printed Graphene, Flexible electronics, EMI shielding.

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