Adv. Radio Sci., 2, 7-12, 2004
© Author(s) 2004. This work is licensed under the
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Electrical pulses of about 90 ps up to 800 ps duration are generated with a maximum amplitude of approximately 7V at 50Ω. The bipolar transistor is driven into saturation and the base-collector and base-emitter junctions become forward biased. The resulting fast switch-off edge of the transistor’s output signal is the basis for the pulse generation. The fast switching of the transistor occurs as a result of the minority carriers that have been injected and stored across the base-collector junction under forward bias conditions. If the saturated transistor is suddenly reverse biased the pn-junction will appear as a low impedance until the stored charge is depleted. Then the impedance will suddenly increase to its normal high value and the flow of current through the junction will turn to zero, abruptly.
A differentiation of the output signal of the transistor results in two short pulses with opposite polarities. The differentiating circuit is implemented by a transmission line network, which mainly acts as a high pass filter.
Both the transistor technology (pnp or npn) and the phase of the transfer function of the differentating circuit influence the polarity of the output pulses. The pulse duration depends on the transistor parameters as well as on the transfer function of the pulse shaping network.
This way of generating short electrical pulses is a new alternative for conventional comb generators based on steprecovery diodes (SRD). Due to the three-terminal structure of the transistor the isolation problem between the input and the output signal of the transistor network is drastically simplified. Furthermore the transistor is an active element in contrast to a SRD, so that its current gain can be used to minimize the power of the driving signal.