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MICROSTRIP

ANTENNA

Outline

Overview of microstrip antennas


Feeding methods
Radiation Mechanism
Radiation from Patch Antenna
Improving bandwidth

Overview of Microstrip Antennas


Also called patch antennas
One of the most useful antennas at microwave frequencies (f > 1 GHz).
It usually consists of a metal patch on top of a grounded dielectric substrate.
The patch may be in a variety of shapes, but rectangular and circular are the
most common.

Microstrip line feed

Coax feed
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Overview of Microstrip Antennas


Common Shapes

Rectangular

Square

Elliptical

Circular

Annular ring

Triangular

Overview of Microstrip Antennas


History

Most popular in wireless communication network.


Invented by Bob Munson in 1974 (but earlier work by G.A.
Dechamps goes back to1953).
Became popular starting in the 1970s.

Overview of Microstrip Antennas


Advantages of Microstrip Antennas

Low profile (can even be conformal, i.e. flexible to conform to a


surface).
Easy to fabricate (use etching and photolithography).
Easy to feed (coaxial cable, microstrip line, etc.).
Easy to use in an array or incorporate with other microstrip circuit
elements.
Patterns are somewhat hemispherical, with a moderate directivity
(about 6-8 dB is typical).

Overview of Microstrip Antennas


Disadvantages of Microstrip Antennas
Low bandwidth (but can be improved by a variety of techniques). Bandwidths of
a few percent are typical. Bandwidth is roughly proportional to the substrate
thickness and inversely proportional to the substrate permittivity.
Efficiency may be lower than with other antennas. Efficiency is limited by
conductor and dielectric losses*, and by surface-wave loss**.
Only used at microwave frequencies and above (the substrate becomes too
large at lower frequencies).
Cannot handle extremely large amounts of power (dielectric breakdown).
* Conductor and dielectric losses become more severe for thinner
substrates.
** Surface-wave losses become more severe for thicker substrates
(unless air or foam is used).
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Overview of Microstrip Antennas


Applications

Applications include:
Satellite communications
Microwave communications
Cell phone antennas
GPS antennas

Overview of Microstrip Antennas


Microstrip
antenna
DC supply Micro-D
connector

Filter
K-connector

LNA
PD
Fiber input with
collimating lens

Diplexer

Microstrip Antenna Integrated into a System: HIC Antenna Base-Station for 28-43 GHz
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Overview of Microstrip Antennas


Arrays

Linear array (1-D corporate feed)


22 array

2-D 8X8 corporate-fed array

4 8 corporate-fed / series-fed array

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Overview of Microstrip Antennas


Wraparound Array (conformal)

The substrate is so thin that it can be bent to conform to the surface.

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Overview of Microstrip Antennas


Rectangular patch
y

Js

W
h

Note: L is the resonant dimension (direction of current flow).


The width W is usually chosen to be larger than L (to get higher
bandwidth). However, usually W < 2L (to avoid problems with the
(0,2) mode).
W = 1.5L is typical.
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Overview of Microstrip Antennas


Circular Patch
y

a
h

The location of the feed determines the direction of current flow and hence
the polarization of the radiated field.

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Feeding Methods

Some of the more common methods for


feeding microstrip antennas are shown.

The feeding methods are illustrated for a rectangular patch,


but the principles apply for circular and other shapes as well.

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Feeding Methods
z

Coaxial Feed

y
Surface current

A feed along the centerline


is the most common
(minimizes higher-order
modes and cross-pol).

W
Feed at (x0, y0)

x
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Feeding Methods
Coaxial Feed
z

Advantages:
Simple
Directly compatible with coaxial cables
Easy to obtain input match by adjusting feed position

W
Disadvantages:
Significant probe (feed) radiation for thicker substrates
Significant probe inductance for thicker substrates (limits
bandwidth)
Not easily compatible with arrays

x0 , y0

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Feeding Methods
Inset Feed

Advantages:
Simple
Allows for planar feeding
Easy to use with arrays
Easy to obtain input match

Microstrip line

Disadvantages:
Significant line radiation for thicker substrates
For deep notches, patch current and radiation pattern may show distortion

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Feeding Methods
Proximity-coupled Feed
(Electromagnetically-coupled Feed)
Advantages:
Allows for planar feeding
Less line radiation compared to microstrip feed
Can allow for higher bandwidth (no probe inductance, so
substrate can be thicker)

Patch

Microstrip line

Top view

Microstrip
line

Disadvantages:
Requires multilayer fabrication
Alignment is important for input match
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Feeding Methods
Aperture-coupled Patch (ACP)
Advantages:
Allows for planar feeding

Slot

Feed-line radiation is isolated from patch radiation


Higher bandwidth is possible since probe inductance is
eliminated (allowing for a thick substrate), and also a
double-resonance can be created
Allows for use of different substrates to optimize
antenna and feed-circuit performance

Disadvantages:
Requires multilayer fabrication
Alignment is important for input match

Top view

Microstrip
line

Patch

Slot
Microstrip line
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Mechanism of Radiation
Let us consider a Rectangular patch as in the figure:-

Assumptions:As h << lambda, field variation along the substrate thickness is


neglected.
Also if it is assumed that there is no variation of electric field along
the width of the patch then the electric field of the patch can be
expressed as :
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Thus in essence the electric field of the patch vary along the length of
the patch which is approximately lambda/2.
Radiation occurs from the fringing fields existing at the open
circuited end or edges of the patch.
The fringing field at the two open circuited ends of the patch can be
resolved into two components :
One normal to the ground plane and
Other parallel to the ground plane.
From the figure above it can be seen that the electric fields are out
of phase and hence radiation due to these components cancel out in
far region.
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However in the Broadside direction, these electrical fields are in phase


and hence add together in far region.
Thus the maximum radiation is in the broadside direction.
Thus the rectangular patch can be represented by two slots which are
lambda/2 apart. They are excited in phase and their radiations are
normal to the plane of the patch or the ground plane.

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Radiation from Patch antenna


A rectangular patch(with coaxial feed) with length L and width W is
shown in the figure:-

Substrate thickness is t and its permittivity is epsilon.


The Transverse Magnetic (TM) mode is characterized by H_z = 0 and
E_z /= 0.
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If the boundaries at x=0;L and y=0,W be considered as open circuits


then the tangential component of magnetic field will be zero at x=0;L
and y=0,W.
Since h << lambda, therell be no field variation with z.
Under these conditions the solution for electric field can be written as:

Therefore, the summation of various modes for all values of m and n


will give rise to the general solution of the field.
Now the equivalent magnetic current in the open circuited side walls
(apertures) can be obtained as:

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As per the boundary condition H_t = 0 at the side walls thus the
equivalent electric current will be zero i.e., n x H = 0. As already
mentioned that the thickness of the substrate is very small and hence the
total magnetic current h J_m could be considered as a line source just
above the conducting ground plane.
Substituting m=1 and n=0 in equation well get,

And therefore the line magnetic-current sources responsible for the


radiation will be

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Now it is evidently clear that the magnetic current sources at y=0 and
y=W are equal and opposite and their contribution in radiation field in
far zone cancel out.
Therefore, these sources produces no radiation in the z- direction.
However, the field radiated from the line source at x=0 and x=L are in
phase and are add up in the broadside direction.
The magnitude vector potentials for these line sources can be,
obtained by

Which can be used to evaluate the radiation field in the far zone as :

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Improving Bandwidth

Some of the techniques that have been successfully


developed are illustrated here.

The literature may be consulted for additional designs and variations.

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Improving Bandwidth
Probe Compensation
L-shaped probe:

As the substrate
thickness increases the
probe inductance limits
the bandwidth so we
compensate for it.

Top view

Capacitive top hat on probe:

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Improving Bandwidth
SSFIP: Strip Slot Foam Inverted Patch (a version of the ACP).
Bandwidths greater than 25% have been achieved.
Increased bandwidth is due to the thick foam substrate and
also a dual-tuned resonance (patch+slot).
Note: There is no probe inductance to worry about here.

Patch substrate

Patch
Foam

Microstrip
substrate
Microstrip line

Slot

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Improving Bandwidth
Stacked Patches
Bandwidth increase is due to thick low-permittivity antenna
substrates and a dual or triple-tuned resonance.
Bandwidths of 25% have been achieved using a probe feed.
Bandwidths of 100% have been achieved using an ACP feed.

Patch substrates

Coupling patch
Top Patch

Microstrip
substrate

Microstrip line
Slot
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Improving Bandwidth
U-Shaped Slot

The introduction of a U-shaped slot can give a


significant bandwidth (10%-40%).
(This is due to a double resonance effect, with two different modes.)
Single Layer Single Patch Wideband Microstrip Antenna, T. Huynh and K. F. Lee,
Electronics Letters, Vol. 31, No. 16, pp. 1310-1312, 1986.
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Improving Bandwidth
Double U-Slot

A 44% bandwidth was achieved.

Y. X. Guo, K. M. Luk, and Y. L. Chow, Double U-Slot Rectangular Patch Antenna,


Electronics Letters, Vol. 34, No. 19, pp. 1805-1806, 1998.

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Improving Bandwidth
E Patch

A modification of the U-slot patch.


A bandwidth of 34% was achieved (40% using a capacitive washer to
compensate for the probe inductance).
B. L. Ooi and Q. Shen, A Novel E-shaped Broadband Microstrip Patch Antenna,
Microwave and Optical Technology Letters, vol. 27, No. 5, pp. 348-352, 2000.
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Multi-Band Antennas
A multi-band antenna is sometimes more desirable than a broadband
antenna, if multiple narrow-band channels are to be covered.

General Principle:
Introduce multiple resonance paths into the antenna.

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Multi-Band Antennas
Low-band
Low-band

Feed

High-band

Feed

Low-band
High-band

Dual-band E patch

Dual-band patch with parasitic strip

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THANK
YOU

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