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Freescale Semiconductor AN721

Application Note Rev. 1, 10/2005

NOTE: The theory in this application note is still applicable,

but some of the products referenced may be discontinued.

Impedance Matching Networks

Applied to RF Power Transistors
By: B. Becciolini

Some graphic and numerical methods of impedance
matching will be reviewed here. The examples given will refer
to high frequency power amplifiers. IND.
Although matching networks normally take the form of f
filters and therefore are also useful to provide frequency f
fS fP
fS fP CAP.
discrimination, this aspect will only be considered as a
corollary of the matching circuit.
Matching is necessary for the best possible energy
transfer from stage to stage. In RF-power transistors the
Figure 1. Input Impedance of RF-Power Transistors as
input impedance is of low value, decreasing as the power
a Function of Frequency
increases, or as the chip size becomes larger. This
impedance must be matched either to a generator — of LS RBB′
generally 50 ohms internal impedance — or to a preceding
stage. Impedance transformation ratios of 10 or even 20 are
not rare. Interstage matching has to be made between two ZIN CC CDE CTE RE
complex impedances, which makes the design still more
difficult, especially if matching must be accomplished over
a wide frequency band. Where:
RE = emitter diffusion resistance
2. DEVICE PARAMETERS CDE,CTE = diffusion and transition capacitances of the
emitter junction
2.1 INPUT IMPEDANCE RBB′ = base spreading resistance
CC = package capacitance
The general shape of the input impedance of RF-power
LS = base lead inductance
transistors is as shown in Figure 1. It is a large signal
parameter, expressed here by the parallel combination of Figure 2. Equivalent Circuit for the Input Impedance of
a resistance Rp and a reactance Xp (Ref. (1)). RF-Power Transistors
The equivalent circuit shown in Figure 2 accounts for the
behavior illustrated in Figure 1. QIN is an important parameter to consider for broadband
With the presently used stripline or flange packaging, matching. Matching networks normally are low-pass or
most of the power devices for VHF low band will have their pseudo low-pass filters. If QlN is high, it can be necessary
Rp and Xp values below the series resonant point fs. The to use band-pass filter type matching networks and to allow
input impedance will be essentially capacitive. insertion losses. But broadband matching is still possible.
Most of the VHF high band transistors will have the series This will be discussed later.
resonant frequency within their operating range, i.e. be
purely resistive at one single frequency fs, while the parallel
resonant frequency fp will be outside. The output impedance of the RF-power transistors, as
Parameters for one or two gigahertz transistors will be given by all manufacturers’ data sheets, generally consists
beyond fs and approach fp. They show a high value of Rp of only a capacitance COUT. The internal resistance of the
and Xp with inductive character. transistor is supposed to be much higher than the load and
A parameter that is very often used to judge on the is normally neglected. In the case of a relatively low internal
broadband capabilities of a device is the input Q or QlN resistance, the efficiency of the device would decrease by
defined simply as the ratio Rp/Xp. Practically QlN ranges the factor:
around 1 or less for VHF devices and around 5 or more for 1 + RL/RT
microwave transistors.

 Freescale Semiconductor, Inc., 2005. All rights reserved. AN721

RF Application Information
Freescale Semiconductor 1
where RL is the load resistance, seen at the collector-emitter 4. MATCHING NETWORKS
terminals, and RT the internal transistor resistance equal to:
In the following matching networks will be described by
, order of complexity. These are ladder type reactance
ωT, (CTC + CDC) networks.
defined as a small signal parameter, where: The different reactance values will be calculated and
determined graphically. Increasing the number of reactances
ωT = transit angular frequency
broadens the bandwidth. However, networks consisting of
CTC + CDC = transition and diffusion capacitances
more than four reactances are rare. Above four reactances,
at the collector junction
the improvement is small.
The output capacitance COUT, which is a large signal
parameter, is related to the small signal parameter CCB, the 4.1 NUMERICAL DESIGN
collector-base transition capacitance.
4.1.1 Two-Resistance Networks
Since a junction capacitance varies with the applied
voltage, COUT differs from CCB in that it has to be averaged Resistance terminations will first be considered. Figure 4
over the total voltage swing. For an abrupt junction and shows the reactive L-section and the terminations to be
assuming certain simplifications, COUT = 2 CCB. matched.
Figure 3 shows the variation of COUT with frequency. X2
COUT decreases partly due to the presence of the collector
lead inductance, but mainly because of the fact that the R1
base-emitter diode does not shut off anymore when the R1 X1 R2 =
operating frequency approaches the transit frequency fT. n>1

Figure 4. Two-Reactance Matching Network

Matching or exact transformation from R2 into R1 occurs
at a single frequency fo.
At fo, X1 and X2 are equal to:
R2 1
X1 =  R1 = R1
R1 - R2 n-1
Figure 3. Output Capacitance COUT as a Function X2 =  R2 (R1 - R2) = R1
of Frequency
At fo: X1 ⋅ X2 = R1 ⋅ R2
X1 and X2 must be of opposite sign. The shunt reactance is
3. OUTPUT LOAD in parallel with the larger resistance.
In the absence of a more precise indication, the output The frequency response of the L-section is shown in
load RL is taken equal to: Figure 5, where the normalized current is plotted as a
function of the normalized frequency.
[VCC - VCE(sat)]2
RL =
2POUT I2 1.0 2
with VCE(sat) equal to 2 or 3 volts, increasing with frequency. Io 4 2
5 Qo = 1
The above equation just expresses a well-known relation, 0.8 6
but also shows that the load, in first approximation, is not 8
10 4 Qo = 2
related to the device, except for VCE(sat). The load value 0.6 5
is primarily dictated by the required output power and the 6
peak voltage; it is not matched to the output impedance of 0.4 10 Qo = 3
the device.
At higher frequencies this approximation becomes less 0.5 0.7 0.9 1.1 1.3 1.5
exact and for microwave devices the load that must be f/fo LOW−PASS  fo/f HIGH−PASS
presented to the device is indicated on the data sheet. This X2
parameter will be measured on all Freescale RF-power
devices in the future.
Strictly speaking, impedance matching is accomplished E X1 R2
only at the input. Interstage and load matching are more I2
impedance transformations of the device input impedance
and of the load into a value RL (sometimes with additional
n = R1/R2
reactive component) that depends essentially on the power
Qo = √n − 1
demanded and the supply voltage.
Figure 5. Normalized Frequency Response for the
L-Section in Low-Pass or High-Pass Form
RF Application Information
2 Freescale Semiconductor
If X1 is capacitive and consequently X2 inductive, then:
fo R2 fo 1
X1 = - R1 =- R1 R2 Xint Xext Xext = X2 − Xint
f R1 - R2 f n-1

f f n-1
and X2 = R2 (R1 - R2) = R1
fo fo 1
X1 ⋅ Xint
The normalized current absolute value is equal to: R1 Xint Xext Xext =
Xin − X1
I2 2 n
(n - 1)2 ⋅  f 4 -2  f 2 + (n + 1)2
f o f
o Figure 6. Termination Reactance Compensation

nE Use of transmission lines and inductors

where Io = , and is plotted in Figure 5 (Ref. (2)).
2 ⋅ R1
In the preceding section, the inductance was expected
If X1 is inductive and consequently X2 capacitive, the only to be realized by a lumped element. A transmission line can
change required is a replacement of f by fo and vice-versa. be used instead (Fig 7).
The L-section has low pass form in the first case and
high-pass form in the second case. R1 L R1 Zo(Θ,L)
The Q of the circuit at fo is equal to:

X2 R1 C R2 C R2
Qo = = = n-1
R2 X1

For a given transformation ratio n, there is only one

(a) (b)
possible value of Q. On the other hand, there are two
symmetrical solutions for the network, that can be either a
Figure 7. Use of a Transmission Line in the L-Section
low-pass filter or a high-pass filter.
The frequency fo does not need to be the center As can be seen from the computed selectivity curves
frequency, (f1 + f2)/2, of the desired band limited by f1 (Fig. 8) for the two configurations, transmission lines result
and f2. in a larger bandwidth. The gain is important for a
In fact, as can be seen from the low-pass configuration transmission line having a length L = λ/4 (Θ = 90°) and a
of Figure 5, it may be interesting to shift fo toward the high characteristic impedance Zo=√ R1 ⋅ R2. It is not significant
band edge frequency f2 to obtain a larger bandwidth w, where for lines short with respect to λ/4. One will notice that there
2 (f1 + f2) is an infinity of solutions, one for each value of C, when using
w= transmission lines.
f2 - f1

This will, however, be at the expense of poorer harmonic 4.1.2 Three-Reactance Matching Networks
The networks which will be investigated are shown in
Example: Figure 9. They are made of three reactances alternatively
For a transformation ratio n = 4, it can be determined from connected in series and shunt.
the above relations: A three-reactances configuration allows to make the
quality factor Q of the circuit and the transformation ratio n
Bandwidth w 0.1 0.3
= R2/R1 independent of each other and consequently to
Max insertion losses 0.025 0.2
choose the selectivity between certain limits.
X1/R1 1.730 1.712
For narrow band designs, one can use the following
If the terminations R1 and R2 have a reactive component formulas (Ref. (5) AN267, where tables are given):
X, the latter may be taken as part of the external reactance
Network (a):
as shown in Figure 6.
This compensation is applicable as long as XC1 = R1/Q Q must be first selected

QINT = or <n - 1 XC2 = R2
(Q2 + 1) -
Tables giving reactance values can be found in Ref. (3)
and (4). QR1 + (R1R2/XC2)
XL =
Q2 + 1

RF Application Information
Freescale Semiconductor 3
POUT rel.






0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0 1.2 1.4 1.6



(a) (b)


Figure 8. Bandwidth of the L-Section for n = 10

(a) with Lumped Constants
(b) with a Transmission Line (λ/4)

(a) XL (b) XL1 XL2 Network (c):

XL1 = Q ⋅ R1 Q must be first selected

R1 XC1 XC2 R2 R1 XC1 R2 R1 (1 + Q2)

XC2 = A ⋅ R2 A= -1

XC1 = B = R1 ⋅ (1 + Q2)
(c) Q-A
The network which yields the most practical component
values, should be selected for a given application.
R2 > R1
R1 XC1 R2 The three-reactance networks can be thought of as being
formed of a L-section (two reactances) and of a
compensation reactance. The L-section essentially performs
the impedance transformation, while the additional reactance
Figure 9. Three-Reactance Matching Networks compensates for the reactive part of the transformed
impedance over a certain frequency band.
Network (b): Figure 10 shows a representation in the Z-plane of the
circuit of Figure 9 (a) split into two parts R1 - C1 - L1 and
XL1 = R1Q Q must be first selected
C2 - R2.
XL2 = R2 ⋅ B A = R1 (1 + Q2)

XC1 = B= -1
Q+B R2

RF Application Information
4 Freescale Semiconductor
L1 Again, if one of the terminations has a reactive
component, the latter can be taken as a part of the matching
network, provided it is not too large (see Fig. 6).
R1 C1 C2 R2
L2 C1

Z′ Z″
R1 R12C1 R2(G2) C2 R1(G1)
Z′ = + jω L1 - = R′ + jX′
1+ ω2 R12 C12 1+ ω2 R12 C12

R2 jω2 C2 R22 Y″ Y′
Z″ = - = R″ + jX″
1+ ω2 C22 R22 1 + ω2 C22 R22
ω2C12R1 jωC1
Y′ = G′ + jB′ = -
1 + ω2 C12 R12 1 + ω2 C12 R12
x′ =  L1
C1 R12
Y″ = G″ + jB″ =
+ jωC2 -
R22 + ω2L22 R22 + ω2L22
x′, − x″
x″ = R′ R2 - R′2
B′ = - G′/R′1 - G′2 B″ = (1/kR2 - G″) 1/G″R2 - 1

ω k =L2/C2R22
−x″ M
ω M′ B′
N′ ω B″
R2 R1 M
G′ or G″
G1 G2
Figure 10. Z-Plane Representation of the Circuit of
Figure 9(a)

Exact transformation from R1 into R2 occurs at the points B′ .− B″

of intersection M and N. Impedances are then conjugate or
Z′ = R′ + jX′ and Z″ = R″ + jX″ with R′ = R″ and X′ = - X″. Figure 11. Y-Plane Representation of the Circuit
The only possible solution is obtained when X′ and - X″ of Figure 9(c)
are tangential to each other. For the dashed curve,
4.1.3 Four-Reactance Networks
representing another value of L1 or C1, a wider frequency
band could be expected at the expense of some ripple inside Four-reactance networks are used essentially for
the band. However, this can only be reached with four broadband matching. The networks which will be considered
reactances as will be shown in section 4.1.3. in the following consist of two two-reactance sections in
With a three-reactance configuration, there are not cascade. Some networks have pseudo low-pass filter
enough degrees of freedom to permit X′ = - X″ and character, others band-pass filter character. In principle, the
simultaneously obtain the same variation of frequency on former show narrower bandwidth since they extend the
both curves from M′ to point N′. impedance transformation to very low frequencies
Exact transformation can, therefore, only be obtained at unnecessarily, while the latter insure good matching over a
one frequency. wide frequency band around the center frequency only (see
The values of the three reactances can be calculated by Fig. 14).
dX′ dX″ a) X2 M X3 b) X2 M X4
X′ = - X″, R′ = R″ and =- .
dR′ dR″

The general solution of these equations leads to R1 X1 X4 R2 R1 X1 X3 R2

complicated calculations. Therefore, computed tables should
be used.
One will note on Figure 10 that the compensation c)
Z1 Z2
reactance contributes somewhat to impedance X2 M X1 X2 M X4
transformation, i.e. R′ varies when going from M to R2.
The circuit of Figure 9 (b) is dual with respect to the first
one and gives exactly the same results in a Y-plane R1 X1 R2 R1 X3 R2
X3 X4
Circuit of Figure 9 (c) is somewhat different since only
one intersection M exists as shown in Figure 11. Narrower R1 = n.R2
frequency bands must be expected from this configuration.
The widest band is obtained for C1 = ∞. Figure 12. Four-Reactance Networks

RF Application Information
Freescale Semiconductor 5
The two-reactance sections used in above networks have the selectivity curve will be different from the curves given
either transformation properties or compensation properties. in Figure 14. Figure 15 shows the selectivity for networks
Impedance transformation is obtained with one series (a) and (b) when the source resistance R1 is infinite.
reactance and one shunt reactance. Compensation is made From Figure 15 it can be seen that network (a) is more
with both reactances in series or in shunt. sensitive to R1 changes than network (b).
If two cascaded transformation networks are used,
transformation is accomplished partly by each one. 0 + j1
With four-reactance networks there are two frequencies,
f1 and f2, at which the transformation from R1 into R2 is exact.
These frequencies may also coincide. 0.28 + j0.45 NORMALIZED IMP.
For network (b) for instance, at point M, R1 or R2 is 0.1 + j0.16
(1 − j1.6) NORMALIZED ADM.
transformed into √R1R2 when both frequencies fall together. Q1
(2.8 − j4.5)
At all points (M), Z1 and Z2 are conjugate if the transformation (a)
is exact. b′3 b1
0.1 + j0.147 b3
In the case of Figure 12 (b) the reactances are easily, Q′1 (0.316 − j4.65) 0.316 − j0
calculated for equal frequencies: ∞

1 + j0
0 0.1

R1 n-1 b′1
X1 = , X2 = R1 x′2
n 0.28 − j0.14
(2.8 + j1.4) (b)
X1 ⋅ X4 = R1 ⋅ R2 = X2 ⋅ X3
0.316 − j0.465
(1 + j1.47)
R1 R1
X3 = , X4 = n-1
n R1 = 1
n( n - 1)
R2 = 0.1
For network (a) normally, at point (M), Z1 and Z2 are
complex. This pseudo low-pass filter has been computed (a) X1 = 0.624 X3 = 0.169 X′1 = 0.68 X′3 = 0.215
elsewhere (Ref. (3)). Many tables can be found in the ( ( ( (
literature for networks of four and more reactances having B1 = 1.6 B3 = 5.9 B′1 = 1.47 B′3 = 4.65
Tchebyscheff character or maximally-flat response (Ref. (3), X2 = 0.59 X4 = 0.160 X′2 = 0.465 X′4 = 0.147
(4) and (6)).
Figure 13 shows the transformation path from R1 to R2 Q1 = 1.6 = Q2 Q′1 = Q′2 = 1.47
for networks (a) and (b) on a Smith-Chart (refer also to (a) X2 X4 (b) X′2 X′4
section 4.2, Graphic Design).
Case (a) has been calculated using tables mentioned in
Ref. (4). R1 X1 X3 R2 R1 X′1 X′3 R2
Case (b) has been obtained from the relationship given
above for X1 . . . X4. Both apply to a transformation ratio
equal to 10 and for R1 = 1.
Figure 13. Transformation Paths for Networks
There is no simple relationship for X′1 . . . X′4 of network
(a) and (b)
(b) if f1 is made different from f2 for larger bandwidth.
Figure 14 shows the respective bandwidths of network
(a) and (b) for the circuits shown in Figure 13. ATTEN.
If the terminations contain a reactive component, the −0
computed values for X1 or X4 may be adjusted to −1
compensate for this. −2
For configuration (a), it can be seen from Figure 13, that (b)
in the considered case the Q’s are equal to 1.6. −5
For configuration (b) Q′1, which is equal to Q′2, is fixed −6
for each transformation ratio. (a)
n 2 4 8 10 16
Q′ = n-1 −9
Q′1 = Q′2 0.65 1 1.35 1.46 1.73 −10 f/fo
.3 .4 .5 .6 .7 .8 .9 1 1.1 1.3 1.5 1.7 1.9
The maximum value of reactance that the terminations
may have for use in this configuration can be determined
Figure 14. Selectivity Curves for Networks (a) and (b)
from the above values of Q′.
of Figure 13
If R1 is the load resistance of a transistor, the internal
transistor resistance may not be equal to R1. In this case

RF Application Information
6 Freescale Semiconductor

1 R2 C2 R2
0 (G2) (G1)
−3 Y″ Y′
R1 j(ωL1 − 1/ωc1)
−5 (a) (b) (a) (b) Y′ = G′ + jB′ = -
−6 R12 + (ωL1 − 1/ωc1)2 R12 + (ωL1 − 1/ωc1)2
Y″ = G″ + jB″ =
R 22 + ω2L 22
+ jω C2 -  L2
R 22 + ω2L 22

−10 f/fo
.4 .5 .6 .7 .8 .9 1 1.1 1.3 1.5 1.7 G′
B′ = ± − G′2
Figure 15. Selectivity Curves for Networks (a) and (b)
1 L2
of Figure 13 with Infinite R1 B″ = (1/kR2 − G″) −1 k =
G″R2 C 2 R 22
As mentioned earlier, the four-reactance network can also B′
be thought of as two cascaded two-reactance sections; one
used for transformation, the other for compensation. G1
Figure 16 shows commonly used compensation networks, M′
ω B″
together with the associated L-section. N′
The circuit of Figure 16 (a) can be compared to the M
three-reactance network shown in Figure 9(c). The difference ω
is that capacitor C2 of that circuit has been replaced by a
L-C circuit. The resulting improvement may be seen by
comparing Figure 17 with Figure 11.


Figure 17. Y-Plane Representation of the Circuit
of Figure 16(a)
R2 R1
When M′ and N′ coincide in, M, the new dX′/df = dX″/df
condition can be added to the condition X′ = - X″ (for
three-networks) and similarly R′ = R″ and dR′/df = dR″/df.
If f1 is made different from f2, a larger bandwidth can be
(b) C.N. achieved at the expense of some ripple inside the band.
Again, a general solution of the above equations leads
to still more complicated calculations than in the case of
R2 R1 three-reactance networks. Therefore, tables are preferable
(Ref. (3), (4) and (6)).
The circuit of Figure 16(b) is dual of the circuit of
R1 = n.R2 Figure 14(a) and does not need to be treated separately. It
(c) C.N. C.N. gives exactly the same results in the Z-plane. Figure 16(c)
shows a higher order compensation requiring six reactive
R2 R1
The above discussed matching networks employing
compensation circuits result in narrower bandwidths than the
former solutions (see paragraph 4.1.3) using two
transformation sections. A matching with higher order
Figure 16. Compensation Networks Used with compensation such as in Figure 16(c) is not recommended.
a L-Section Better use can be made of the large number of reactive
elements using them all for transformation.
When the above configurations are realized using short
By adding one reactance, exact impedance portions of transmission lines, the equations or the usual
transformation is achieved at two frequencies. It is now tables no longer apply. The calculations must be carried out
possible to choose component values such that the point on a computer, due to the complexity. However, a graphic
of intersection M′ occurs at the same frequency f1 on both method can be used (see next section) which will consist
curves and simultaneously that N′ occurs at the same essentially in tracing a transformation path on the Z-Y-chart
frequency f2 on both curves. Among the infinite number of using the computed lumped element values and replacing
possible intersections, only one allows to achieve this. it by the closest path obtained with distributed constants. The

RF Application Information
Freescale Semiconductor 7
bandwidth change is not significant as long as short portions 1.0
of lines are used (Ref. (13)). n=4
4.1.4 Matching Networks Using Quarter-ave
Transformers 0.8
At sufficiently high frequencies, where λ/4-long lines of
1 2 3
practical size can be realized, broadband transformation can 0.7
easily be accomplished by the use of one or more
λ/4-sections. λo/λ
Figure 18 summariz es the main relations for 0.6 0.8 1.0 1.2 1.4
(a) one-section and (b) two-section transformation.
Figure 20. Selectivity Curves for One, Two and Three
A compensation network can be realized using a λ/2-long
transmission line.
4.1.5 Broadband Matching Using Band-Pass Filter
Type Networks. High Q Case.
The above circuits are applicable to devices having low
R1 = nR2
input or output Q, if broadband matching is required.
R2 Z R1
R1 Generally, if the impedances to be matched can be
Z = R1 R2 = R2 √n =
√n represented for instance by a resistor R in series with an
inductor L (sometimes a capacitor C) within the band of
interest and if L is sufficiently low, the latter can be
(b) 4 incorporated into the first inductor of the matching network.
Z 1 = R 13 R 2 This is also valid if the representation consists of a shunt
4 combination of a resistor and a reactance.
R2 Z2 Z1 R1
Z 2 = R1 R 2 3 Practically this is feasible for Q’s around one or two. For
higher Q’s or for input impedances consisting of a series or
at A, R = √R1 R2 parallel resonant circuit (see Fig. 2), as it appears to be for
A large bandwidths, a different treatment must be followed.
Let us first recall that, as shown by Bode and Fano (Ref.
Figure 18. Transformation Networks Using λ/4-Long (7) and (8)), limitations exist on the impedance matching of
Transmission Lines a complex load. In the example of Figure 21, the load to be
matched consists of a capacitor C and a resistor R in shunt.
Figures 19 and 20 show the selectivity curves for different
transformation ratios and section numbers. RG

Exponential lines
Exponential lines have largely frequency independent V ZIN NETWORK C R
transformation properties. (LOSSLESS)
The characteristic impedance of such lines varies
exponentially with their length I:
Z = Zo ⋅ ekl Figure 21. General Matching Conditions
where k is a constant, but these properties are preserved
only if k is small. The reflection coefficient between transformed load and
generator is equal to:
ZIN - Rg
ZIN + Rg
Γ = 0, perfect matching,
0.9 Γ = 1, total reflection.
The ratio of reflected to incident power is:
=  Γ 2
n=6 4 2 Pi
The fundamental limitation on the matching takes the

∫ω = oln  1Γ  dω  RCπ

0.6 0.8 1.0 1.2 1.4
Bode equation
Figure 19. Selectivity Curves for Two λ/4-Section
Networks at Different Transformation Ratios and is represented in Figure 22.

RF Application Information
8 Freescale Semiconductor
1 Thus, devices having relatively high input Q’s are usable
Γ for broadband operation, provided the consequent higher
attenuation or reflection introduced is acceptable.
The general shape of the average insertion losses or
π attenuation a (neglecting the ripple) of a low-pass impedance
RC matching network is represented in Figure 24 as a function
of 1/Q for different numbers of network elements n (ref. (3)).
ωc ω For a given Q and given ripple, the attenuation decreases
if the number n of the network element increases. But above
Figure 22. Representation of Bode Equation n = 4, the improvement is small.
For a given attenuation a and bandwidth, the larger n the
The meaning of Bode equation is that the area S under the smaller the ripple.
curve cannot be greater than π/RC and therefore, if matching For a given attenuation and ripple, the larger n the larger
is required over a certain bandwidth, this can only be done at the bandwidth.
the expense of less power transfer within the band. Thus, Computations show that for Q < 1 and n ≤ 3 the
power transfer and bandwidth appear as interchangeable attenuation is below 0.1 db approximately. The impedance
quantities. transformation ratio is not free here. The network is a true
It is evident that the best utilization of the area S is low-pass filter. For a given load, the optimum generator
obtained when Γ is kept constant over the desired band impedance will result from the computation.
ωc and made equal to 1 over the rest of the spectrum. Then Before impedance transformation is introduced, a
conversion of the low-pass prototype into a band-pass filter
- type network must be made. Figure 25 summarizes the main
Γ = e ωc RC
relations for this conversion.
within the band and no power transfer happens outside. r is the conversion factor.
A network fulfilling this requirement cannot be obtained For the band-pass filter, QlN max or the maximum possible
in practice as an infinite number of reactive elements would input Q of a device to be matched, has been increased by
be necessary. the factor r (from Figure 25, Q′IN max = r ⋅ QIN max).
If the attenuation a is plotted versus the frequency for Impedance inverters will be used for impedance
practical cases, one may expect to have curves like the ones transformation. These networks are suitable for insertion into
shown in Figure 23 for a low-pass filter having Tchebyscheff a band-pass filter without affecting the transmission
character. characteristics.

a a
a 1

a max2

a min2

a max1 ωa ωo ωb
a min1 wc =
2 ∆ω
ω ωo
ω1 ω2 r=
Figure 23. Attenuation versus Angular Frequency for C 1′
Different Bandwidths with Same Load
L1 L3 L 1′
R5 R5
For a given complex load, an extension of the bandwidth Ro C2 C4 Ro C ′
from ω1 to ω2 is possible only with a simultaneous increase 2 L 2′
of the attenuation a. This is especially noticeable for Q’s
exceeding one or two (see Figure 24).
ωcL1 1
QIN max = L1′ = r.L1 C 1′ =
Ro ωo2 L1′
ωoL 1′ 1
4 QIN max = C2′ = r.C2 L 2′ =
Ro ω o 2 C2 ′
3 etc.
a 2
3 Figure 25. Conversion from Low-Pass into
1 Band-Pass Filter

0 Figure 26 shows four impedance inverters. It will be
0.1 1 1/Q
noticed that one of the reactances is negative and must be
Figure 24. Insertion Losses as a Function of 1/Q combined in the band-pass network with a reactance of at

RF Application Information
Freescale Semiconductor 9
least equal positive value. Insertion of the inverter can be (4) Convert the element values found by step (3) into
made at any convenient place (Ref. (3) and (9)). series or parallel resonant circuit parameters,
(5) Insert the impedance inverter in any convenient
C In the above discussions, the gain roll-off has not been
1 − 1/n 1/n2 − 1/n taken into account. This is of normal use for moderate
bandwidths (30% for ex.). However, several methods can
be employed to obtain a constant gain within the band
a) nC C despite the intrinsic gain decrease of a transistor with
Tables have been computed elsewhere (Ref. (10)) for
n:1 matching networks approximating 6 db/octave attenuation
nC C versus frequency.
Another method consists in using the above mentioned
network and then to add a compensation circuit as shown
b) (1 − n)C (n2 − n)C for example in Figure 27.

L2 C2
L(1 − 1/n) L(1/n2 − 1/n) R = ZIN = CONSTANT vs. f.
L1C1 = L2C2
c) R R1 = R
L/n L
L1 C1 ωb2 = 1/L1C1 = 1/L2C2
n:1 Q2 = ωbL2/R = Q1 = ωbC1R

d) L L
1−n n2 − n Figure 27. Roll-Off Compensation Network

n:1 Resonance ωb is placed at the high edge of the frequency

band. Choosing Q correctly, roll-off can be made 6 db/octave.
Figure 26. Impedance Inverters The response of the circuit shown in Figure 27 is
expressed by:
When using the band-pass filter for matching the input , where ω < ωb
impedance of a transistor, reactances L′1 C′1 should be
ω ωb 2
1 + Q2 ω - ω 
made to resonate at ωo by addition of a convenient series
reactance. This must be equal to ω/ωb for 6 db/octave compensation.
As stated above, the series combination of Ro, L′1 and At the other band edge a, exact compensation can be
C′1 normally constitutes the equivalent input network of a obtained if:
transistor when considered over a large bandwidth. This is
a good approximation up to about 500 MHz.
 ωb  2 - 1
In practice the normal procedure for using a bandpass Q=
filter type matching network will be the following:
-  ωb  2
ωb ωa
(1) For a given bandwidth center frequency and input
impedance of a device to be matched e.g. to 50 ohms,
first determine QlN′ from the data sheet as 4.1.6 Line Transformers
ωoL′1 The broadband properties of line transformers make them
Ro very useful in the design of broadband impedance matching
networks (Ref. (11) and (12)).
after having eventually added a series reactor for A very common form is shown by Figure 28. This is a
centering, 4:1 impedance transformer. Other transformation ratios like
(2) Convert the equivalent circuit R o L 1 ′ C 1 ′ into a 9:1 or 16:1 are also often used but will not be considered
low-pass prototype Ro L1 and calculate QlN using the here.
formulas of Figure 25, The high frequency cut-off is determined by the length
(3) Determine the other reactance values from tables of line which is usually chosen smaller than λ min/8. Short
(Ref. (3)) for the desired bandwidth, lines extend the high frequency performance.

RF Application Information
10 Freescale Semiconductor
Z0 = Rg/2
RL =

Figure 28. 4:1 Line Transformer Line Transformer on P.C. Board (Figure 29)
The low frequency cut-off is determined first by the length 35 µ
of line, long lines extending the low frequency performance Cu 66 µ Ribbon thickness
of the transformer. Low frequency cut-off is also improved Electrical tape
by a high even mode impedance, which can be achieved EE3990
by the use of ferrite material. With matched ends, no power Permacel New
is coupled through the ferrite which cannot saturate. ISOLATION Brunswick
For matched impedances, the high frequency attenuation ISOLATION Cu
a of the 4:1 transformer is given by:

(1 + 3 cos 2πI/λ)2 + 4 sin2 2πI/λ

4 (1 + cos 2πI/λ)2 FERRITE

For I = λ/4, a = 1.25 or 1 db; for I = λ/2, a = ∞.

The characteristic impedance of the line transformer must
be equal to:
Zo = √Rg ⋅ R .
Figures 29 and 30 show two different realizations of 4:1
25 mm
transformers for a 50 to 12.5 ohm-transformation designed
for the band 118 - 136 MHz.
The transformers are made of two printed circuit boards
or two ribbons stuck together and connected as shown in
- Stick one ribbon (1.5 mm wide) against the other (2.5)
Figures 29 and 30. Total length per ribbon - 9 cm.
Turns 3.5

EPOXY 0.2 mm THICK Figure 30. 4:1 Copper Ribbon Line Transformer

35 µ with Ferrite

in mm

15 22

Line Transformer on Ferrite (Figure 30)


The common method of graphic design makes use of the

ÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉ Impedance-Admittance Chart (Smith Chart).

It is applicable to all ladder-type networks as encountered
in matching circuits.

ÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉ Matching is supposed to be realized by the successive

algebraic addition of reactances (or susceptances) to a given

start impedance (or admittance) until another end impedance
(or admittance) is reached.

Impedance chart and admittance chart can be
superimposed and used alternatively due to the fact that an
immittance point, defined by its reflection coefficient Γ with

Figure 29. 4:1 Line Transformer on P.C. Board
respect to a reference, is common to the Z-chart and the
Y-chart, both being representations in the Γ-plane.

RF Application Information
Freescale Semiconductor 11
Z - Rs γi
Γ= γr + jγ i +1
Z + Rs b = − 0.5

Gs - Y g = 0.5 INDUCTIVE
Γ= b<0
Gs + Y g=1
b = −1 γr
1 b=0
Rs = = Characteristic impedance of the line −1 +1
Gs SHORT b=1
More precisely, the Z-chart is a plot in the Γ-plane, while
the Y-chart is a plot in the - Γ-plane. The change from the b>0
Γ to - Γ-plane is accounted for in the construction rules given −1 b = 0.5
below. g>0
Figure 31 and 32 show the representation of normalized − Γ−PLANE
Z and Y respectively, in the Γ-plane.
The Z-chart is used for the algebraic addition of series Y
= y = g + jb
reactances. The Y-chart is used for the algebraic addition Gs
of shunt reactances. 1 - γr2 - γ i2
For the practical use of the charts, it is convenient to make g=
(1 + γr)2 + γ i2
the design on transparent paper and then place it on a usual INDUCTIVE
Smith-chart of impedance type (for example). For the - 2γ i
b= g
addition of a series reactor, the chart will be placed with (1 + γr)2 + γ i2
“short” to the left. For the addition of a shunt reactor, it will
1 - g2 - b2 CAPACITIVE
be rotated by 180° with “short” (always in terms of γr =
impedance) to the right. (1 + g)2 + b2

γi - 2b b
γi =
x = 0.5

r=1 INDUCTIVE Radius: 1/(1 + g)

x>0 g circles
x=1 Center at: γr = - g/(1 + g); γ i = 0
r = 0.5 γr
−1 0 +1
SHORT x=0 x= − 1
OPEN Radius: 1/b
b circles
Center at: γr = - 1, γ i = - 1/b
x = − 0.5 x<0
−1 Figure 32. Representation of the Normalized Y-Values
in the Γ-Plane
Γ−PLANE The following design rules apply. They can very easily
be found by thinking of the more familiar Z and Y
Z representation in rectangular coordinates.
= z = r + jx For joining two impedance points, there are an infinity of
Rs x
solutions. Therefore, one must first decide on the number
1 - γr2 - γ i2
r= of reactances that will constitute the matching network. This
(1 - γr)2 + γ i2 INDUCTIVE number is related essentially to the desired bandwidth and
2γ i r the transformation ratio.
(1 - γr)2 + γ i2
r2 + x2 - 1 to be Curve of
γr =
(r + 1)2 + x2 Addition of Used Direction Constant
2x RECTANGULAR COORDINATES Series R Z Open (in terms of x
γi =
(r + 1)2 + x2
Series G Y Short (in terms of b
Radius: 1/(1 + r) admittance)
r circles r
Center at: γr = , γi = 0 Series C (+ 1/jωC) Z ccw r
Shunt C (+ jωC) Y cw g
Radius: 1/x Series L (+ jωL) Z cw r
x circles
Center at: γr =1 , γ i = 1/x Shunt L (+ 1/jωL) Y ccw g

Figure 31. Representation of the Normalized Z Values

in the Γ-Plane

RF Application Information
12 Freescale Semiconductor
Secondly, one must choose the operating Q of the circuit, The collector load must be equal to:
which is also related to the bandwidth. Q can be defined at
[Vcc - Vce (sat)]2 (28 - 3)2
each circuit node as the ratio of the reactive part to the real or = 15.6 ohms .
part of the impedance at that node. The Q of the circuit, which 2 x Pout 40
is normally referred to, is the highest value found along the
path. The collector capacitance given by the data sheet is
Constant Q curves can be superimposed to the charts 40 pF, corresponding to a capacitive reactance of 22.7 ohms.
and used in conjunction with them. In the Γ-plane Q-curves The output impedance seen by the collector to insure the
are circles with a radius equal to required output power and cancel out the collector
capacitance must be equal to a resistance of 15.6 ohms in
1 parallel with an inductance of 22.7 ohms. This is equivalent
Q2 to a resistance of 10.6 ohms in series with an inductance
of 7.3 ohms.
and a center at the point ± 1/Q on the imaginary axis, which The input Q is equal to, 1.1/1.94 or 0.57 while the output
is expressed by: Q is 7.3/10.6 or 0.69.
2γ i 
γ r2 + γ i +
1 2
It is seen that around this frequency, the device has good
r 1 - γ r2 - γ i2 Q Q2 broadband capabilities. Nevertheless, the matching circuit
will be designed here for a narrow band application and the
The use of the charts will be illustrated with the help of effective Q will be determined by the circuit itself not by the
an example. device.
The following series shunt conversion rules also apply: Figure 34 shows the normalized impedances (to
50 ohms).

X 0.022 0.146
R ≅ R′ X′

0.039 0.212

R′ 1 R
R= G′ = =
Figure 34. Normalized Input and Output Impedances
X′ 1 X for the 2N5642
X= - B′ = =
X′2 X′ R2 + X2 Figure 35 shows the diagram used for the graphic design
R′2 of the input matching circuit. The circuit Q must be larger
than about 5 in this case and has been chosen equal to 10.
Figure 33 shows the schematic of an amplifier using the
2N5642 RF power transistor. Matching has to be achieved At Q = 5, C1 would be infinite. The addition of a finite value
at 175 MHz, on a narrow band basis. of C1 increases the circuit Q and therefore the selectivity.
The normalized values between brackets in the Figure are
VCC = 28 V admittances (g + jb).

0 + j1

Q− (b2)
C1 L3 0.039 + j0.39
CIRCLE (0.25 − j2.5) 1 + j1.75
(0.25 − j0.42)
C2 C0 C5
0 0.039 + j0.022 1 + j0 ∞
Figure 35. Input Circuit Design
Figure 33. Narrow-Band VHF Power Amplifier At f = 175 MHz, the following results are obtained:
ωL3 = 50x3 = 50 (0.39 - 0.022) = 18.5 ohms
 L3 = 16.8 nH
The rated output power for the device in question is 20 W
at 175 MHz and 28 V collector supply. The input impedance 1 1
ωC2 = b2 = (2.5 - 0.42) = 0.0416 mhos
at these conditions is equal to 2.6 ohms in parallel with - 50 50
200 pF (see data sheet). This converts to a resistance of
1.94 ohms in series with a reactance of 1.1 ohm.  C2 = 37.8 pF
RF Application Information
Freescale Semiconductor 13
1 Rated output power:
= 50x1 = 50 ⋅ 1.75 = 87.5 ohms
ωC1 30 W for 8 W input at 175 MHz. From the data sheet it
appears that at 125 MHz, 30 W output will be achieved with
 C1 = 10.4 pF
about 4 W input.
Figure 36 shows the diagram for the output circuit, Output impedance:
designed in a similar way.
[Vcc - Vce (sat)]2 100
0 + j1 = = 1.67 ohms
2 x Pout 60

Cout = 180 pF at 125 MHz

0.212 + j0.146 5.2 CIRCUIT SCHEMATIC

12.5 V
1 + j0
0 ∞ C7

0.212 − j0.4 (b5)
(1 + j1.9) C6

Figure 36. Output Circuit Design

Here, the results are (f = 175 MHz): RFC1

L3 C5
ωL4 = 50 ⋅ x4 = 50 ⋅ (0.4 + 0.146) = 27.3 ohms
 L4 = 24.8 nH L2
1 1
ωC5 = b5 = ⋅ 1.9 = 0.038 mhos
50 50 T1 C4 T2
 C5 = 34.5 pF 50 Ω 50 Ω
The circuit Q at the output is equal to 1.9.
The selectivity of a matching circuit can also be C1 = 300 pF (chip) T1, T2 see Figure 30
determined graphically by changing the x or b values L2 = 4.2 nH (adjust) RFC1 = 7 turns
according to a chosen frequency change. The diagram will L3 = 8 nH (adjust) 6.3 mm coil diameter
give the VSWR and the attenuation can be computed. C4 = 130 pF (chip) 0.8 mm wire diameter
The graphic method is also useful for conversion from C5 = 750 pF (chip) RFC2 = 3 turns on ferrite bead
C6 = 2.2 µF C7 = 0.68 µF
a lumped circuit design into a stripline design. The
immittance circles will now have their centers on the 1 + jo
Figure 37. Circuit Schematic
At low impedance levels (large circles), the difference
between lumped and distributed elements is small.
PIN = 2 W
The example shown refers to a broadband amplifier stage
using a 2N6083 for operation in the VHF band 118 -
136 MHz. The 2N6083 is a 12.5 V-device and, since 20
amplitude modulation is used at these transmission 1W
frequencies, that choice supposes low level modulation POUT
associated with a feedback system for distortion 10
compensation. 0.5 W
Line transformers will be used at the input and output.
Therefore the matching circuits will reduce to two-reactance MHz
networks, due to the relatively low impedance transformation 0
ratio required. 118 124 128 132 136
Input impedance of the 2N6083 at 125 MHz: Figure 38. POUT vs Frequency
Rp = 0.9 ohms
Cp = - 390 pF

RF Application Information
14 Freescale Semiconductor
% Acknowledgments
PIN = 2 W The author is indebted to Mr. T. O’Neal for the fruitful
discussions held with him. Mr. O’Neal designed the circuit
60 shown in Figure 37; Mr. J. Hennet constructed and tested
the lab model.
η 40 0.5 W 6. LITERATURE
30 1. Freescale Application Note AN282A “Systemizing RF
20 Power Amplifier Design”
2. W. E. Everitt and G. E. Anner “Communication
Engineering” McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc.
MHz 3. G. L. Matthaei, L. Young, E. M. T. Jones “Microwave
118 124 128 132 136 Filters, Impedance-Matching Networks and Coupling
Structures” McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc.
4. G. L. Matthaei “Tables of Chebyshew
Figure 39. η vs Frequency
Impedance-Transforming Networks of Low-Pass Filter
db. Form” Proc. IEEE, August 1964
5. Freescale Application Note AN267 “Matching Network
Designs with Computer Solutions”
6. E. G. Cristal “Tables of Maximally Flat
Pin − 5 PIN = 2 W Impedance-Transforming Networks of Low-Pass-Filter
− 10 Form” IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and
Techniques Vol. MTT 13, No 5, September 1965
− 15 Correspondence
0.5 W 7. H. W. Bode “Network Analysis and Feedback Amplifier
− 20 Design” D. Van Nostrand Co., N.Y.
8. R. M. Fano “Theoretical Limitations on the Broadband
MHz Matching of Arbitrary Impedances” Journal of Franklin
118 124 128 132 136 Institute, January - February 1950
f 9. J. H. Horwitz “Design Wideband UHF-Power
Amplifiers” Electronic Design 11, May 24, 1969
Figure 40. PREFL./PIN vs Frequency
10. O. Pitzalis, R. A. Gilson “Tables of Impedance Matching
Networks which Approximate Prescribed Attenuation
Versus Frequency Slopes” IEEE Transactions on
Microwave Theory and Techniques Vol. MTT-19, No 4,
April 1971
11. C. L. Ruthroff “Some Broadband Transformers” Proc.
IRE, August 1959
12. H. H. Meinke “Theorie der H. F. Schaltungen” München,
Oldenburg 1951

118 - 136 MHz Amplifier (see Figure 37)

Before Coil Adjustment

RF Application Information
Freescale Semiconductor 15
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Document Number: AN721
Rev. 1, 10/2005 RF Application Information
16 Freescale Semiconductor