Chapter 11. RF Mixers

  1. W. Alan Davis PhD1 and
  2. Krishna K. Agarwal PhD2

Published Online: 9 OCT 2001

DOI: 10.1002/0471200689.ch11

Radio Frequency Circuit Design

Radio Frequency Circuit Design

How to Cite

Davis, W. A. and Agarwal, K. K. (2001) RF Mixers, in Radio Frequency Circuit Design, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, USA. doi: 10.1002/0471200689.ch11

Author Information

  1. 1

    University of Texas at Arlington

  2. 2

    Raytheon Systems Company

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 9 OCT 2001

Book Series:

  1. Wiley Series in Microwave and Optical Engineering

Book Series Editors:

  1. Kai Chang

Series Editor Information

  1. Texas A&M University

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780471350521

Online ISBN: 9780471200680



  • RF mixers;
  • nonlinear devices;
  • mixers;
  • figures of merit;
  • single-ended mixers;
  • single-balanced mixers;
  • double-balanced transistor mixers;
  • spurious response;
  • noise figure;
  • noise temperature;
  • single-sideband;
  • problems


A typical mixer is a three-port circuit that accepts two signals at two different frequencies and produces at the third port a signal that is the sum or difference of the two input frequencies. Production of a new frequency or frequencies requires a nonlinear device. Various mixers are discussed (single-ended, single-balanced, double-balanced).

Some of the primary mixer performance criteria for mixers are described. The first of these are the spurious frequencies generated when the mixer is excited by a single tone RF signal. A second measurement of mixer performance results from exciting it with two tones near to each other that produces two IF terms. The latter is termed two-tone intermodulation distortion.

Single-tone intermodulation is an effect of the imbalance in the transformers or the diodes used in the mixer. A distinction is made between the inherent nonlinear current-voltage curve of a diode and the nonlinearity associated with the switching action of the diode. Two-tone intermodulation distortion is best explained by following a simple experimental procedure.