Microwave Devices and Antennas Based on Negative-refractive-index Transmission-line Metamaterials

by Marc A. Antoniades

Institution: University of Toronto
Year: 2009
Keywords: Negative Refractive Index; Metamaterial; Transmission line; Phase shifter; Balun; Power divider; Series-fed; Antenna; Array; Dipole array; Leaky-wave; Folded monopole
Record ID: 1846618
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/17727


Several microwave devices and antennas that are based on negative-refractive-index transmission-line (NRI-TL) metamaterials are presented in this thesis, which exhibit superior performance features compared to their conventional counterparts. These are a Wilkinson balun, a 1:4 series power divider, a four-element printed dipole array, a leaky-wave antenna, and an electrically small folded-monopole antenna. The Wilkinson balun employs +90° and −90° NRI-TL metamaterial lines at the output branches of a Wilkinson divider, to achieve a six-fold increase in the measured differential output phase bandwidth compared to that of an analogous balun employing transmission lines, while occupying only 55% of the area. The 1:4 series power divider comprises four non-radiating 0° NRI-TL metamaterial lines, each with a compact length of λ0/8, to provide equal power split to all four output ports. Compared to a conventional series power divider employing one-wavelength long transmission lines, the metamaterial divider provides a 154% increase in the measured through-power bandwidth, while occupying only 54% of the area. The metamaterial series power dividing concept is also applied to a four-element fully-printed dipole array that is designed to radiate at broadside, in order to demonstrate that the array exhibits reduced beam squinting characteristics. It is shown that the metamaterial-fed array has a measured scan-angle bandwidth that is 173% greater than an array that is fed using a conventional low-pass loaded line. The reduced-beam squinting property that NRI-TL metamaterial lines offer is subsequently exploited to create a leaky-wave antenna that radiates a near-fixed beam in the forward +45° direction, with an average measured beam squint of only 0.031°/MHz. This is achieved by operating the antenna in the upper right-handed band where the phase and group velocities are the closest to the speed of light. Finally, an electrically small antenna comprising four 0° NRI-TL metamaterial unit cells is presented which supports a predominantly even-mode current, thus enabling it to be modeled as a multi-arm folded monopole. This significantly increases its radiation resistance, which allows it to be matched to 50 Ω, while maintaining a high measured efficiency of 70%.