Harmonics in solid-state switches
Does anyone have an experience with PIN diode or other solid-state switches where a signal is being passed at, say, 2 GHz and it generates harmonic spurs at 4, 6,... 8 GHz? There must be some harmonic content when you hit the compression point, right? But what about 10 or 20 dB below compression? Would you even see any spurs?
There will always be harmonics since transistors/diodes are nonlinear, the only question is how much. I don't know if I've seen harmonic content specified frequently for switches, but IP3 and IP2 often are.
Harmonic level in dBc for CW signal should be proportional to IM level in dBc for a 2-tone signal if the standard textbook cubic polynomial model applies, which it often does well below compression.
Since IP2,3 of a switch are usually pretty high (higher than a comparable amplifier) it's probably safe to say that the harmonic content of a switch is usually pretty small.
This is all theoretical, I haven't checked experimentally.
Thanks! Later this year I will try to do some measurements on PIN diode switches on a spec an... If this Covid thing dies down...
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