Design of Microstrip Patch Antenna on Liquid Crystal Polymer (LCP) for Applications at 70GHz
Abstract (Summary)The demand of small size electronic systems has been increasing for several decades. The physical size of systems is reduced due to advancements in integrated circuits. With reduction in size of electronic systems, there is also an increasing demand of small and low cost antennas. Patch antennas are one of the most attractive antennas for integrated RF front end systems due to their compatibility with microwave integrated circuits. To fulfil the demand of integrated RF front end systems, a design of microstrip patch antenna with optimum performance at 70GHz is investigated. The procedure could be extended to design other planar antennas that act in a similar way.In this work, three different design methods to design patch antennas for applications at 70GHz are investigated that include use of analytical models, numerical optimization, and numerical variation of dimensions. Analytical models provide a basic understanding of the operation of a patch antenna and they also provide approximate dimensions of a patch antenna for a targeted frequency without using numerical simulations. However, as the operating frequencies of RF systems reach mm-wave frequencies, we expect that the accuracy of analytical models become less accurate. For example, the excitation of substrate modes and effect of ground size are not predicted in simple analytical models.Due to these expected limitations of the analytical design methods, the accuracy of these models is investigated by numerical electromagnetic field simulations. In this work, CST Microwave Studio Transient Solver is used for that purpose. In order to make sure that the appropriate settings of the solver are applied, the simulation settings such as mesh density, boundary conditions and the port dimensions are investigated. The simulation settings may affect computation time and convergence of the results. Here, in this work, the accuracy of the simulator for a specific design of inset feed rectangular patch antenna is verified. The patch dimensions obtained from analytical calculations are optimized at 70GHz by using the optimizer of the transient solver. The patch dimensions obtained from optimizer are verified by varying the patch dimensions in equidistant steps around the found result of the optimizer.In a rectangular microstrip patch antenna design, the use of a width of 1.5 times the length is an approximate rule of thumb  for low dielectric constant substrates. It is also investigated how the performance properties of a microstrip patch antenna are affected by varying the width to length ratio of the patch. There are occasions where a different ratio is required because of space limitations, or to change the input impedance. The patch designs having various width to length ratios were optimized with the feed location.The analytically calculated dimensions provided good initial values of the rectangular patch antenna for further optimization using more accurate techniques. The design have been optimized at 70GHz for the investigated mesh density, boundary conditions and the port dimensions. The numerical variation of dimensions is found to be most reliable among the investigated design methods but it is more complicated with many parameters.
School:Högskolan i Gävle
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:microstrip patch antenna
Date of Publication:11/07/2008