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Document Title: Broadbanding the Shunt Pin Diode SPDT Switch (AN 957-1)

Part Number: 5964-3902E

Revision Date: January 1996

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Broadbanding the Shunt
PIN Diode SPDT Switch

Application Note 957-1

In the design of a stripline or                   BIAS 1                                                                         BIAS 2
                                                                                               RF PORT 3
microstrip SPDT PIN diode
switch, bandwidth and physical                                      L                                           L
                                                   RF                                                                               RF
construction are often important                 PORT 1
                                                                                 D1                D2                    C        PORT 2
considerations. Three basic de-
sign approaches for single pole,
double throw diode switches are                                                            L
shown in Figures 1 through 3.                                                                       JUNCTION

The series diode switch of Figure 1
is capable of very large (multi-oc-      Figure 1. Series PIN SPDT Switch.
tave) bandwidth, limited only by
the bias inductors L and capacitors
                                                   BIAS 1                                                                         BIAS 2
C, and the length of any transmis-                                                              RF PORT 3
sion line between the diodes and
the common junction. Etched flat                                        L                                           L
spirals or aircore solenoids produce                                                                                                 RF
good broadband lumped-element                     PORT 1        C            C                              C                C     PORT 2
                                                                                      Zo           Zo
inductors, and MOS capacitors fea-                                                    /4           /4
ture self-resonant frequencies
above 18 GHz. This structure is                                             D1                                          D2
easiest to fabricate with beamlead
diodes on alumina substrate MIC.
In plastic dielectric symmetrical
stripline, difficulty is encountered     Figure 2. Shunt PIN SPDT Switch.
in relieving the faces of both boards
to accept packaged diodes, and in                 BIAS 1                                                                     BIAS 2
locating the diode junctions electri-                                                          RF PORT 3

cally close to the common arm of
                                                                    L                                           L                   RF
the switch. Finally, parasitic capaci-            RF
                                                                                 D3               D4                              PORT 2
                                                PORT 1      C                                                            C
tance gives rise to poor isolation at
microwave frequencies, with a 6 dB
per octave rolloff as a function of                                                        L
                                                                        D1                                          D2

The shunt diode switch, shown
in Figure 2, features high isola-        Figure 3. Series/Shunt PIN Switch.

tion, relatively independent of                                                          RF PORT 3

frequency. It is an easy structure
to design and fabricate if                         BIAS 1                                                              BIAS 2
stripline package PIN diodes                                                   Z
such as the HP 5082-3040 series
are used. In these products, the                                L                                                 L
diode junction capacitance has                     PORT 1
                                                                                                                          PORT 2
been matched out by integration                                          Z                       Z
into a low-pass filter structure.                           C        C
                                                                         /4                      /4
                                                                                                           C          C
In an MIC switch, a chip, such as                               D1                                                D2
the HP 5082-0001, allows easy
assembly. However, the user
must then provide the matching          Figure 4. Broadband Shunt SPDT Switch.
structure. The main drawback of
this type of switch is the band-
width restriction arising from          from the common junction. This                                                         Z = 50
the use of quarter wavelength           switch, however, is complicated,                 2.2:1
transmission lines between the          and consumes twice the bias power                                                      Z = 45
common junction and each shunt          of the shunt switch shown in Figure
                                                                                                                           Z = 40
diode. At the midband frequency         2. Here, as in Figure 1, it is difficult         1.8:1

fO, where the transmission lines        to mount the D3 and D4 diode junc-                                            Z = 30
are /4 in length, the switch op-        tions electrically close to the com-
                                                                                                               Z = 35
erates as follows: When Diode D1        mon arm.                                         1.4:1
is forward biased and Diode D2 is
reverse biased, R.F. power will         The bandwidth of the shunt di-                   1.2:1

flow from Port 3 to Port 2, and         ode switch can be improved by                    1.0:1
                                                                                                 0.5    0.7    0.9   1.1    1.3       1.5
R.F. Port 1 will be isolated. The       the simple impedance matching                               FREQUENCY, BROADBAND SWITCH, 

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