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NO. 6 ,NOVEMBER 1982


Input Impedance and Mutual Coupling of Rectangular Microstrip Antennas


Abstract-A moment method solution to the problem of input impedance and mutual coupling of rectangular microstrip antenna elements is presented. The formulation uses the grounded dielectric slab Greens function to account rigorously for the presence of the substrate and surface waves. Both entire basis (EB) and piecewise sinusoidal (PWS) expansion modes are used, and their relative advantages are noted. Calculations of input impedance and mutual coupling are compared with measured data and other calculations.

tions of the expansion modes and impedance matrix elements are given. Section 111 presents numerical results for input impedance and mutual coupling for various antenna geometries. These results are compared with measurements and with other solutions. Also presented is a design data curve for resonant resistance of a rectangular element with variable width and feed position.

HE INCREASING USE of microstrip antenna technology 121 requires analysis methods capable of accurately predicting the input impedance, mutual coupling, and radiation of these antennas. Two methods which have been somewhat successful for calculating input impedance and radiation are the transmission line model [3], and the cavity model [ 4 ] , [ 5 ] . Although proven to be useful for predicting input impedance, the above two methods do not rigorously account for the presence of surface waves on the antenna substrate, and do not account for mutual coupling between closely spaced of imantennaelements.Also,theylackaconvenientway proving solution accuracy. Recently,amomentmethodsolutiontothemicrostrip antenna problem was proposed [ 6 ] . In [ 61, image theory was used with an integral equation to solve for the antenna patch current;thedielectricslab was treatedwithequivalentcurrents. This method, too, gave good results for input impedance,butsufferedfromthenecessityofextremelyaccurate numerical evaluations of the impedance matrix elements. Presented here is a moment method solution for rectangularmicrostripantennaelements,includingmutualcoupling. This approach uses the exact Greens functionforthe dielectric slab, and thus rigorously accounts for surface waves and coupling to adjacent antenna elements. Since the ground plane is accountedforanalyticallybytheGreensfunction, no severe numerical problems are encountered as in [6], which relied upon image theory to treat the ground plane. The present method can handle edge (microstrip) or probe (coax) type feeds, and can be generalized to treat antenna elements of arbitraryshape.Thesolution is similarinprinciple tothepreviously treated case of printed dipoles [ 7 I , [ 8 I , a n d [ 91. Two types of expansion modes are considered-entire basis (EB), and piecewise sinusoidal (PWS). The relative advantages and disadvantages of these modes are noted and discussed, and it is shown how accuracy can be improved by the appropriate choice and number of expansion modes. Section I1 describes the theory of the method. The Greens function and its efficient evaluation are discussed, and defini-

The Dielectric Slab Greens Function

For the calculation of impedance matrix elements and voltage vector elements, the electric field from a horizontal electric current element on a grounded dielectric slab is needed. No generality is lost by having the current element directed in the;-direction,since all impedancematrixelementscanbe found by orienting the test mode for current flow in the idirection. So forthegeometryshowninFig.1,thevector potential is [ 71 - [ l o ] (assuming d W ttime dependence).


A, =0

zG1 =-

sin k l z

G, =


sin k l d
Te Tm



Te = k l cos k 1 d

+ j k z sin k l d
+ j k l sin k l d
(Im k l


Tm = q k 2 cos k l d k 1 2= frko2- D 2 ,

< 0) k Z 2 = k o 2 - D 2 , (Im k2 < 0)

= k X 2 4- k Y 2



ko2 = ~ ~ / l o o ,


the field point is at ( x , y , z);thesourcelocationisat(x,,,y~,d). Note that dielectric loss iseasily included by replacing e, b y er(l - j tan 6 ) in (7), where tan 6 is the loss tangent of the substrate material. The electric fields are then found by

Manuscript received October 30, 1981; revised May 28, 1982. This work was supported in part by Grant NAG-1-163 between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Langley Research Center, H a m g ton, VA, and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA. The author is with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003.

The integrals in ( 1 ) and (2) will be evaluated numerically, howeverthiscanbefacilitatedbychanging to polar coordi-

0018-926X/82/1100-1191$00.75 0 1982 IEEE


slab Green's function. The unknown surface current density onthemicrostripantennaelements is expanded in aset of N basis functions,




Fig. 1. Geometry for an infinitesimal dipole on a grounded dielectric slab.

where Tn is t h e n t h basis function and In is its unknown amplitude. The basis functions Jn may represent currents i n the x or y directions. Use of the same set of functions as testing functionsleadstoaset of linearalgebraicequations to b e solved for the unknown In:

nates P, a where kx = 6 cos a


k , = p sin a. (13) The integration ranges are = 0 +. 00 and a = 0 + 27r. The terms T , and T , are functions of P (not of a),and represent transverse electric (TE) and Transverse magnetic (TM) surface wave poles, respectively. The first TM surface wave has a zero cutoff frequency, so there is always at least one surface wave pole (unless E, = 1). These poles occur for real values of /3 = Po such that ko < Po <&ko, if tan 6 = 0 (no loss). If dielectric loss is present, the poles move off the real /3 axis t o /3 = Po f i , y 0. The exact pole location Po - j y can be determined by using the Newton-Rhapson procedure to find the zeros of (5) and (6). To avoid numerical difficulties when numerically integrating on 0, the integration from Po - 6 to Po 6 , where S 0.001k0, is done analytically [ 7 ] . For example, if only one surfacewave mode is present,

Vm =



j i dv.


In (19) and (20), E, is the electric field-due to current 7, in the presence of the dielectric slab, and Ji is the impressed of functions is used for (source) current. Since the same set testing and expansion (Galerkin),Z , , = Z n m . Fig. 2(a) shows a possible layout of expansion modes for a microstripantennaproblem.Thetwoexpansionmodesare shown on different antenna patches, but they could be on the same patch, and could have currents in the same direction or a l l impedanceelements inorthogonaldirections,Therefore, are of one of two possible types: Z x x (test current inx , expansion current in x ) , or Z x y (test current in x , expansion current in y). Using(1)-(4),(1 I), and (1 9) allows these impedance matrix elements to be written as

Fx*(Jm)Fy*(J,) d k , d k ,


(16) For thelossless case y = 0, and (16) reduces to

and F x , F y are the Fourier transforms of the x and y dependwhich is the same as the result obtained using residue theory. ences ofJ : Higher order'surface wave modes can be treated in the same manner. The infinite integration in (14) can generally be termiJnX(x)ejkxX dx, nated at 150 ko.

Formulation The Moment Method

The moment method solution used here is a Galerkin solution of the electric field integral equation with the dielectric





aI x
Feed Modeling

F l

Re [ Fy*(Jm)eikxYp]/3 do



Equations (30)-(32) are the final forms used for the computation of the impedance matrix and voltage vector elements.

A coaxial or probe-type feed can be modeled by using (27) to represent a unit current source at the probe position ( x p ,


y p ) , and accounting for the probe self-inductance by adding jxpto the input impedance, where[ 1]


xp =- Z O


Fig. 2. (a) Example of

ages and currents.

e o coupjed microstrip antenna elements and two expansion modes, J , and J,. (b) Definitions of twc-port volt-

where J n ( x , y ) has been factored into the product of a function of x and a function of y:
J n ( x > U ) =J,"(X)Jn'(Y).

A microstrip-type feed can also be modeled by using (27) to represent an equivalent i current source at the point where the feed line joins the antenna patch. Strictly speaking, the width of the feed line should be incorporated by using a ribbon of current of width equal to that of the feed line, but it has beenfoundthatthelineelement of (27) gives anidentical result for the narrow feed lines that are in commonuse. It has also been found [ 9 ] that the voltage term (32) should be modified by the factor to account for edge effects of the microstrip line. If W is the width of the feed line, the effective width W e is [ 1 ]



W e = W + 0.412

+ 0.30

If the impressed source current is expressed as

Ji = j s ( x o


- 0.258

)( + +

0.262 0.813d


- x p y ( ~ o-

~ p ) ,


where the feed position is at ( x p ,y p ) , then the voltage vector elements can be found by using (2)-(4), (1 l), and (20):

where ee is the effective dielectric constant [ 1 1 , ..=-+-(l+?) - 112 . E, 1 q . - 1




Port Impedances
Qu(kx, ky)Fx*(Jm)Fy*(Jm)
(28) Consider the two-element microstrip antenna geometry shown in Fig. 2(a). The relation between the port voltages and currents (defined in Fig, 2(b)) is

.ejkXxp+jkyYp dk,

[ PI = [ m [ p l , (3 5) wherethesuperscript "p" is used todifferentiatebetween -jZo ,6*k,(,.- 1) sinkld +jk,kl T, sin these "port" quantities and the moment method quantities of . kld 9"=(18). This distinction i s animportantoneandnecessary to 4n2 ko Tc Tm kl avoid confusion and erroneous results. That these two sets of (29) quantities are distinct can easily be seen by noting that [ Z ] of (18) can be of order N if N expansion modes are used on the Note that (21) and (22) consist ofsix integrations; however, two antenna elements, while [ZP]of (35) is alwaysa2 X 2 the integrals for F , and F y can be done in closed form leaving (for a two-port geometry). The "port" impedance onlytwonumericalintegrations.Equation(28)similarly re- matrix matrix [ Z p ] is the one of interest for determining input imquirestwonumericalintegrations. As mentionedpreviously, pedance and mutual coupling, so its relation to (18) is now the infinite k,, k, integrations can be facilitated by convertdescribed. ing to polar coordinates. Also, the even and odd properties of Z1 l p is the input impedance of element one with element the integrand can be used to reduce the ru = 0 -+ 2n integration two open-circuited, and can be written as range t o Q! = 0 -+ n/2. Equations (21), (22), and (28) can then be written as
z m n xx = 4

d*'2 la


Re [ F , ( J , ) F , * ( J , ) I (30)

- Re[F,(J,)F,*(Jm)IPd,6dQ!

= -4


11 2 ,

Im [ F, (J,)F,

* (Jm
1) (3

N expansion where 3')is the total electric fieltfrom the modes caused by the source current Ji(') at port one, and Ii is the terminal current of the source(1 A in this case). The use of (20) thengives N z11p =1, & ( I ) , (3 7)
n= 1

Im [Fy(Jn)Fy*(Jm)IPdP dol




6 , NOVEMBER 1982

where In are the expansion mode currents found from (18), and Y,(l) are the voltages due to source 1. Note that all I , for expansion modes on element 2 should be set to zero, since element 2 is open-circuited. Equation ( 3 7 ) also gives the inputimpedance of asingleantennaelement,andcanbe used for Z by substituting V,(), the voltage due to source 2, for V,(hand setting all I , on element 1 to zero. The open-circuit transfer impedance between ports 1 and 2 can be written as


E(2) is the total electric field caused by source current

port 2. Using (20) gives
n= 1

J(2) at

where V,() is the voltage due to source 2, and all I , on element 2 are set to zero. Of course, Z I Z P = Z2 l P .
Fig. 3.


Expansion Modes
Both EB and PWS expansion modes were used in this solution. The current density for the EB modes with current inthei-directioncanbewritten as J(x, y ) = Jx(xvyb), where

(a) Example of layout of two EB expansion modes on an antenna patch. @) Example of layout of three PWS modes on an antenna patch. TABLE 1


1 1 = O2 # O2





=O =O #O

=O =O

The current density for PWS a mode centered at X I , y is for y -w/2 y y f -I- wj2, and x, y f are the coordinatesof the center of the mode and a and w are the half-length and width of the mode, respectively. This mode is constant in the y-direction and has a sinusoidal variation in the x-direction, withzerocurrentattheendsofthemodeandcontinuous derivativesovertherange of themode.Theconstant m in (40a) determines the order (number of variations in x ) of the expansion mode, and assumes integer values starting at m = 1. Fig. 3(a) shows EB modes of order m = 1 and 2 arranged on a microstripantennaelement.Oftensymmetryargumentscan be used to eliminate certain expansion modes, such as all odd modes or all even modes. As the number of expansion modes increases, the solution should converge and accuracy increase. The EB modes have the useful property that many combinations of modes on the same antenna element are uncoupled (Zmn = 0), thus making evalution of the impedance matrix faster. For example, (30), (31), (25), and (40) can be used t o show the coupling and uncoupling of impedance elements as shown in Table1. In Table I mt and m e are the valuesof m for the test mode Z,, is the impedance and expansion mode, respectively, and between two modes with current in the same direction, while Z , , is theimpedancebetweentwomodeswithcurrentin orthogonal directions. This data are only valid for modes on x , y foreachmode); thesameantennaelement(identical modes on different elements are not generally uncoupled.

< <

sin ka given by (40b). for X - a < x < x f -I-a, and a y-dependence as This mode is constant in y , piecewise sinusoidalin x , with zero

J x(x) =


current at the ends of the mode and a discontinuous derivative at x = x. Fig. 3(b) shows three PWS modes arranged on an is improved by increasing the antenna element. Accuracy number of overlapping PWS modes.Incontrasttothe EB modes, no uncoupledPWS modes exist, however symmetry between PWS modesoftenreducethenumber of matrix elements which need to be calculated. For example, in Fig. 3(b) symmetry gives Z l l = ZZ2 = 223, and Z 1 2 = 2 3 . Another advantage comes from the fact that a voltage vector element V , is negligibly small unless the feed position lies within the bounds of mode M . Table I1 summarizes the computational cost of using EB or PWS modes for some typical mode layouts of a single antenna elefor a calculation of input impedance ment. In this table, a unit cost is defined as the effort required for evaluation of a double integration like that in(30H32). Also, Table I1 assumes that the EB modes are used sequentially (no modes removed by symmetry considerations), and N,, N , refer to the number of expansion modes in the x and y-directk for the PWS mode in tions, respectively. The wavenumber (40c)canbechosenarbitrarily,however,ajudiciouschoice will improveconvergence.Ithasbeenfoundthatsetting k




N, = 1 Ny = 0

Quantity Calculated

cost using EB Modes

cost using
PWS Modes

4.02 ~47-cm-


Measured Calculated (I EB Mode) C a l c u l a t e d ( I P W S Mode) C a l c u l a t e d ( P P W S Modes) Calculated ( 2 E8 Modes)



2 2 1

Nx=21 N Nx y= =3 O1
N,, =0 7

V total

V total

",=lI Ny = 1

2 2 4 4 3 7 2

3 3 1

V total


3 2 5

equal to the "effective" good choice:


is a

k = k,=& (41) where e, is defined by (34). This choice for k was also made in [61. Neither the EB or PWS modes included an edge condition; this simplification was justified on the basis of previous surface patch modeling work [ 1 11, in which it was discovered that, if sophisticated expansion modes are used (e.g., PWS or EB), the Fig. 4. Measured and calculated input impedance of an edge-fed microedgeconditiondoesnotneedtobeenforcedforaccurate strip antenna. Calculations madeusing one and two EB and PWS results. modes.

In this section numerical results using the above-described method are compared with measurements and other calculations of input impedance and mutual coupling for microstrip 0 Measured [ 6 1 X C a l c u l a t e d C61 antennas. 6cm 0 Calculated Fig. 4 compares calculated input impedance of an edge-fed microstrip antenna with measurements from [ 12 J . Four sets of calculations are shown here, using both one and two expansionmodesforboth EB and PWS modes. As canbeseen, agreement with measurements is very good for all cases, and improves as the number of modes used increases from one to two. Also, itcanbeseenthatthe EB resultsaregenerally closer to the measured values than the PWS results, for the same number of modes. The tradeoff here is that, as Table I1 shows, the PWS calculation is faster forN 1. Fig. 5 shows calculated input impedance of a coax-fed antenna using one EB mode compared with calculations and measurements from [ 6 ] . The present calculations compare well with the measured data and, for frequencies above resonance, appear to be more accurate than the calculations from [61. This is probably due to the fact that the method of [ 6 ] suffered from numerical sensitivities and an approximate treatment of the dielectric slab. (Note: The measured data point at f = 639 MHz appears to be incorrectly labeled as 640 MHz in [61J Fig. 6 shows calculatedinputimpedance of a coax-fed Fig. 5 . Measured and calculated input impedance of a coax-fed microantennausingone EB modecomparedwithmeasurements strip antenna compared with calculations from [6] from Lo [ 131. Again the agreementis good. Fig. 7 gives design datafortheresonantresistance of a coax-fed microstrip antenna versus feed position and width of the patch. These data show the radiation resistance decreasing




Measured ( L o ) Calculoted





N v) -



Measured ( C a r v e r ) Calculated

- 30


- 40




I 1.00


SIXo Fig.8.Measuredand calculated mKtual coupling between two coaxfed microstrip antennas, for both E-plane and H-plane coupling. W = 10.57 cm,L = 6.55 cm,d = 0.1588 cm, E ? = 2.55,fz 1410. MHz.

IV. CONCLUSION Thispaperhaspresented a moment method solution for microstrip antennas using the rigorous grounded dielectric slab Greens function.Bothentirebaseandpiecewisesinusoidal Fig. 6 . Measured and calculated input impedance of a coax-fed micro- modes have been used, and their relative advantages and disadstrip antenna. vantages noted. Good agreement between calculated and measured values of input impedance and mutual coupling has been shown. REFERENCES 4 K. R. Carver and J. W. Mink, Microstrip antenna technology, w=6.98crn IEEE Trans. Antennas Propagat.vol. AP-29,pp. 2-24, Jan. 1981. ._ R. J . Mailloux, J. F. McIlvenna, and N. P. Kernweis, Microstrip array technology, IEEE Trans. Antennas Propagat., vol. AP-29, W pp. 25-37, Jan. 1981. a 400 c A. G. Derneryd, Linearly polarized microstrip antennas, IEEE 0 ._ Trans. Antennas Propagat., vol. AP-24, pp. 846-851, Nov. 1976. + 0 Y. T. Lo, D. Solomon, and W . F. Richards, Theory and experi0 200 ment on microstrip antennas, IEEE Trans. Antennas Propagar., 0 [L vol. AP-27, pp. 137-145, Mar. 1979. K. R. Carver and E. L. Coffey, Theoretical investigations of the 0 microstrip antenna, Univ. New Mexico Phys. Sci. Lab. Rep. 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0 PT-00929, Jan. 1979. x OIL E. H. Newman and P. Tulyathan, Analysis of microstrip antennas Fig.7. Radiation resistance for a coax-fed microstrip antenna versus usingmoment methods, IEEE Trans. Antennas Propagat.. VOl. feed position and width. L = 13.97 cm, E? = 2.60, d = 0.1588 cm, AP-29. pp. 47-53,Jan. 1981. tan 5 = .002. N. K. Uzunoglu, N. G. Alexopoulos, and J. G. Fikioris, Radiation properties of microstrip dipoles, IEEE Trans. Antennas Nov. 1979. Propagat., vol.AP-27,pp.853-858, as the feed approahces the center of the patch, and increasing I . E. Rana and N. G. Alexopoulos, Current distribution and input is inas thewidth is madelarger.Theresonantfrequency impedance of printed dipoles. IEEE Trans. Antennas Propagat.. vol. AP-29. no. 1. pp. 99-105. Jan.1981. dependent of feed position, but decreases from 666 MHz for N. G . Alexopoulos and I. E. Rana, Mutual impedance computaW = 6.98 cm to 659 MHz for W = 20.45 cm. tion between printed dipoles, IEEE Trans. Antennas Propagat., 2 paamFig. 8 showsthe calculation of mutual c o u p h g (SI vol. AP-29, no. 1, pp. 106-1 11, Jan. 1981. eter)between two coax-fed microstrip antenna. . i o m p a e d M. C. Bailey, Analysis of the properties of microstrip antennas with measurements by Carver [ 141. Both g-plane andi?-plane using strips embedded in a grounded dielectric slab, in IEEE 1979 AP-S Int. Symp. Digest. Seattle, WA, pp. 373-379. couplings are shown. The E-plane coupling is larger due to a D. M. Pozar and E. H. Newman, Analysis of a monopole mounted strongersurface wave beingexcitedforthiscase.Thegood near or at the edge of a half-plane, IEEE Trans. Antennas Propaagreementdemonstratestheaccuracyandversatility of the g a r . . vol. AP-29. pp. 488495. May 1981. method. M. C. Bailey and M. D. Deshpande, Resonant frequency of It should be noted that, due to the very narrow bandwidth rectangular microstrip antennas, in lEEE I981 AP-S Int. Symp. Digest, Los Angela, CA, pp. 3-6. of microstrip antennas, the good agreement between measured Y . T. Lo, D. D. Harrison, D. Solomon, G. A. Deschamps, and F. and calculated input impedance is somewhat fortuitous-the R . Ore, Study of microstrip antennas, microstrip phased arrays, percentage tolerance on the substrate permittivity and patch andmicrostripfeednetworks, RADC Tech.Rep.TR-77-406, sizecanbe of the same order of magnitude as the antenna Oct. 21.1977. R. P. Jedlicka, M. T. Poe, and K. R. Carver, Measured mutual bandwidth (a few percent is typical). This error causes a shift coupling between microstrip antennas. IEEE Trans.Antennas i h resonant frequency, while the impedance level is unaffected. Propagat., vol. AP-29, pp. 147-149, Jan. 1981. Thus, in Figs. 4-6, thesubstratepermittivityisnominally 2.55, but values of 2.55 t o 2.59 were used in the calculations David hl. Pozar (S74-M80), for a photograph and biography please see page 350 of the May 1982 issue of this TRANSACTIONS. to obtain best results.