Broadband MMIC LNAs for ALMA band 2+3 with noise temperature below 28 K

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • External authors:
  • David Cuadrado Calle
  • Kieran Cleary
  • Lorene Samoska
  • Pekka Kangaslahti
  • Jacob Kooi
  • Mary Soria
  • Mikko Varonen
  • Richard Lai
  • Xiaobing Mei


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.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
JournalIEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jan 2017

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