One of the key features of non-linear elements in any electronic circuit is the generation of harmonic signals. On the one hand, harmonics resulting from the non-linear characteristic of a given component, like a diode, are used intentionally to implement vital functions for today’s RF world. On the other hand, not every harmonic signal generated by a DUT may be welcome.
In an ideal world, amplifiers do not generate any harmonics, but simply amplify the input signal. So then how do you optimize a device to come as close as possible to its ideal, which means to make use of the wanted harmonics and suppress the unwanted harmonics?
This application note focuses on measurement of harmonics using modern spectrum analyzers.