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he microwave industry recently found-
new uses for concepts familiar to solid-
state designers in the form of photonic
band gap (PBG) constructions. PBG construc-
tions offer the ability to produce substrates,
ground planes and other structures, which
have a forbidden frequency range, or band
gap, that does not support electromagnetic
waves. This behavior arises from some form of
periodicity, in either material characteristics or
in a circuit layer, that reacts to electromagnet-
ic fields in much the same way
that crystal lattice structures do.
PBG surfaces — which often
become magnetic conductors
within their band gaps, much
like a corrugated metal plate
with the correct characteristics
— have a number of exciting po-
tential uses to the microwave
and wireless design world. A few
examples include circuit board
ground planes (which cannot be
excited by long clock traces),
novel TEM-mode rectangular
antenna ground
planes (which do not image currents and sap
antenna gain) and shield surfaces to reduce
specific absorption rate (SAR) levels in cellular
phone users.
PBG surface structures designed for these
applications are currently being modeled with
custom algorithms. With the release of Ansoft
HFSS 7 and its associated Optimetrics™ en-
gine, a commercial finite element method
(FEM) package is for the first time capable of
solving more general categories of PBG devices.
The simplest microwave PBG structures are
solid substrates perforated with a rectangular
grid of holes, or their complement: a rectangu-
lar grid of dielectric rods in air. Assuming a fi-
nite number of periods, these structures are
easy to model for transmission characteristics in
many commercial electromagnetic packages us-
ing a waveguide simulator approach shown in
Figure 1. (Five periods in the transmission di-
rection are shown.) Example transmission spec-
tra obtained with Ansoft HFSS for five, six and
Ansoft Corp.
Grand Prairie, TX
Fig. 1 Dielectric rod PBG
crystal with waveguide
simulator cell defined
(Γ-X transmission
Reprinted with permission of MICROWAVE JOURNAL
from the September 2000 issue.
2000 Horizon House Publications, I nc.
seven periods of a simple PBG crystal
structure are shown in Figure 2.
While the described technique
suffices for three-dimensional PBG
substrates, or “electromagnetic crys-
tals,” more directly useful planar or
layered PBG structures do not have
the necessary degrees of symmetry
for analysis in this fashion. Ansoft
HFSS Version 7, however, contains
the feature set necessary to model
these interesting new designs.
One of the primary features neces-
sary for efficient modeling of general
periodic structures was introduced in
Ansoft HFSS 6: the linked boundary
condition (LBC). Similar to perform-
ing a Floquet-mode expansion, LBCs
allow imaging of a unit cell into an in-
finite array of such cells. However,
unlike a waveguide simulator, LBCs
permit unconstrained user-assigned
field relationships between the mas-
ter and slave boundaries composing
the LBC pair. They allow more than
two planes of symmetry, and remove
any assumption that the fields on the
boundary be forced either tangential
to or orthogonal to the boundary
faces (as is the case with perfect E
and perfect H symmetry). Linked
boundary pairs need not always be
parallel surfaces, and also need not
be perpendicular to other linked
boundary pairs, permitting a wide ar-
ray of lattice arrangements.
I n addition to the capability of
defining a lattice with a single unit
cell, the new eigenmode solver in
HFSS 7 enables direct calculation of
the permitted resonance frequencies
for a unit cell structure. Computation
can be performed over the entire
range of field relations between LBC
pairs by using Optimetrics. The Opti-
metrics interface automates the
process of altering parametrically the
LBC pair’s phase relationship to
match each value in a table of desired
configuration setups and executing
each resultant solution. Post-process-
ing capabilities within Optimetrics
permit charting of any combination
of input vs. output variables, includ-
ing generation of a display analogous
to the dispersion diagram commonly
referenced in PBG literature.
The structure shown in Figure 3 is
a square array of metallic patches atop
a substrate layer (ε
= 2.2), tied by cen-
tral vias to an underlying ground
This type of PBG structure is
of interest to the wireless industry for
antenna applications because it cannot
support a surface travelling wave with-
in its forbidden band. This behavior
permits its use as a ground plane with-
in the designated band, which could
enhance — rather than detract from
— antenna pattern performance. Ad-
ditionally, the possibility of diffraction
around the ground plane edges is also
reduced, which should allow for lower
SAR levels on the far side of the plane
from the antenna where the user’s
head would be.
A unit cell model representation of
this structure (also shown in the dia-
gram) was constructed in Ansoft
HFSS 7 and assigned as the nominal
problem in an Optimetrics parametric
sweep. The top of the model volume
is terminated with an anisotropic per-
fectly matched layer (PML) construc-
tion. The variables for the parametric
analysis were the phase relationship
between each opposing pair of linked
boundaries. By varying the phase be-
tween the boundaries and calculating
the permissible eigensolutions for
each phase relationship, a dispersion
plot tracing the three sides of the irre-
ducible Brillouin zone (BZ) triangle,
shown in Figure 4, is obtained.
For a plot of possible solution fre-
quencies in the Γ to X direction, the
phase between the first pair of LBCs
is held constant at zero and the phase
between the second pair is varied
from 0° to 180°. For solution frequen-
cies along the X to M direction, the
phase between the second pair of
walls is held constant at 180°while the
phase between the first pair is incre-
mented from 0° to 180°. Finally, for
the M to Γ direction, both relation-
ships are simultaneously varied from
LFig. 2 Transmission spectra in the Γ-X
direction for square rod PBG crystal with 1.2
cm cell size, 0.48 cm square dimension and
= 10.2 showing five, six and seven periods.
LFig. 3 Square patch PBG ground plane and unit cell model.
L Fig. 4 Unit cell BZ and phase
relationships for HFSS eigensolution
analysis. (Linked boundaries are color-coded
for clarity.)
180° back to 0°. Using 10° increments
and eliminating the repeated (0°, 0°),
(0°, 180°) and (180°, 180°) points result
in a total of 54 eigensolution HFSS
project setups. All setups are generat-
ed for the user by the Optimetrics
package following simple construction
of a table of parametric combinations.
The list of 54 HFSS projects is solved
as an automatic batch sequence by the
Optimetrics package, and all pertinent
results are stored for easy comparison
from project to project.
The results of this analysis are
shown in Figure 5. The horizontal axis
of each graph represents the changing
phase variable for one of the three BZ
triangle boundaries, and is analogous
to having the wave vector plotted in a
true dispersion diagram. Examining
the space between the lowest eigenso-
lution frequency for all phase combi-
nations and that of the next highest
eigensolution (which falls beneath the
light line at either end of the combined
plot), a band gap of approximately 10
to 15 GHz is clearly observed. These
simulation results closely match those
previously reported
for the same
structure, obtained using a custom,
non-commercial program.
Another type of PBG not conducive
to analysis with a waveguide simulation
is the uniplanar compact (UC) PBG.
One such structure is discussed in the
for which a unit cell model
is shown in Figure 6. The cell dimen-
sion is 120 × 120 mils, patch is 100 ×
100 mils, inset cutouts are 27.5 × 40.0
mils, centered extension traces are 10
mils wide to end and substrate thick-
ness (ε
= 10.2) is 25 mils.
As with the
prior example, the unit cell structure
represents the nominal problem, termi-
nated on top by a PML surface layer.
The Optimetrics package is used to
vary the phase relationship between
the appropriate LBC pair side walls to
obtain dispersion data. Figure 7shows
the results for this analysis, which again
agree well with those published in the
referenced paper and obtained from a
custom approach.
I n many cases, the dispersion dia-
gram is not the only parameter de-
sired from analysis of a PBG struc-
ture. Again, Ansoft HFSS and Opti-
metrics together provide a unique set
of capabilities for more extensive
evaluation of this class of problems.
Optimetrics permits post-process-
ing of any HFSS-computed quantity
as either a parametric sweep output
or as part of an optimization goal
function. Unlike competing products
that only provide data output or opti-
mization toward S parameters or oth-
er port quantities, even field analysis
results such as antenna patterns, radar
cross-section or other derived quanti-
ties can be plotted with respect to the
setup count or the parametric inputs.
For example, it has already been
mentioned that one application of PBG
surfaces is as an antenna ground plane.
Within the forbidden band not only
does the PBG surface not support a
travelling surface wave, but it also re-
flects incident radiation in phase, rather
than with a 180° phase shift as would a
standard metal ground plane. The re-
gion of the frequency band over which
L Fig. 5 Summarized dispersion diagram results for a square-lattice PBG.
Fig. 7 Summarized dispersion results for UC-PBG analysis using HFSS.
Fig. 6 UC-PBG unit cell model.
rics analysis closely matched results
obtained from reflection phase mea-
surements on actual PBG hardware.
The exciting study of PBG struc-
tures has until now been constrained to
modeling via custom algorithms or —
in those few cases where sufficient
symmetry exists to use a waveguide
simulation approach — to a finite num-
ber of periods in transmission-only
models. With the advent of Ansoft
HFSS’ eigensolution capability and its
integration with the parametric analysis
capabilities of Optimetrics, the RF de-
signer can now utilize a commercially
available, commercially supported soft-
ware package for more general cate-
gories of PBG analysis and design.
Analysis can obtain direct finite period
transmission, true eigensolution disper-
sion results and field data for a wide va-
riety of possible lattice shapes and sym-
metry conditions.
1. F.R. Yang, K.P. Ma, Y. Qian and T. I toh, “A
Novel TEM Waveguide Using Uniplanar
Compact Photonic-bandgap (UC-PBG)
Structure,” I EEE Transactions on Mi-
crowave Theory and Techniques, Vol. 47,
No. 11, November 1999, pp. 2092–2098.
2. J.D. Shumpert, W.J. Chappell and L.P.B.
Katehi, “Parallel-plate Mode Reduction in
Conductor-backed Slots Using Electro-
magnetic Bandgap Substrates,” I EEE
Transactions on Microwave Theory and
Techniques, Vol. 47, No. 11, November
1999, pp. 2099–2104.
3. I . Bardi and Z. Cendes, “New Directions
in HFSS for Designing Microwave De-
vices,” MicrowaveJournal, Vol. 41, No. 8,
August 1998, pp. 22–36.
4. D. Sievenpiper, L. Zhang, R.F.J . Broas,
N.G. Alexópolous and E. Yablanovitch,
“High-impedance Electromagnetic Sur-
faces with a Forbidden Frequency Band,”
I EEE Transactions on Microwave Theory
and Techniques, Vol. 47, No. 11, Novem-
ber 1999, pp. 2059–2074.
5. R. Coccioli, F.R. Yang, K.P. Ma and T. Itoh,
“Aperture-coupled Patch Antenna on UC-
PBG Substrate,” IEEE Transactions on Mi-
crowave Theory and Techniques, Vol. 47,
No. 11, November 1999, pp. 2123–2130.
Richard T. Remski received his BSEE from
the Georgia I nstitute of Technology, Atlanta,
GA, in 1988, having specialized in microwave
and antenna design. Before coming to Ansoft,
he worked for various aerospace contractors,
performing design and analysis tasks on
classified airborne antenna and avionics system
applications to support the F-16, A-12, B-2,
F-22 and V-22 aircraft programs. He has been
with Ansoft for nearly three years, where his
tasks include technical support, application
development, software Q/A and user training.
the reflected energy adds most con-
structively (phase shifts of only a few
degrees plus or minus from the inci-
dent signal) is a subset of the band gap
itself. Using Ansoft HFSS and Opti-
metrics, the reflection phase resulting
from an incident wave excitation (aver-
aged on a suitable evaluation plane) can
be calculated with respect to incident
wave frequency as an output. This ca-
pability is made possible by the post
processor’s Field Calculator, a staple
feature of Ansoft HFSS that has been
continually maintained and upgraded
in each new release.
To illustrate this usage, another ex-
ample project has been constructed
from the designs presented by
Sievenpiper et. al.
and shown in Fig-
ure 8. This hexagonal lattice PBG
surface could not be solved in any
form using a mere waveguide simula-
tor. However, by modeling a unit cell
with LBC side walls and running a
parametric sweep using an incident
wave excitation at different frequen-
cies, the reflection phase can be cal-
culated directly from field results.
Assuming that the reflected signal
is evaluated at a distance d away from
the reflection plane, the expected re-
flection phase from a perfect metal
ground plane would be
I f a PBG structure is placed with its
top face the same distance d away
from an evaluation plane, the Field
Calculator can be used to obtain the
average reflection phase at the evalu-
ation plane by calculating
where S is the evaluation surface. (The
scattered E field data from an incident
wave project are directly available as
an input to the Field Calculator fol-
lowing the nominal HFSS solution.)
An integrated macro language al-
lows the calculator routine necessary
to obtain φ
to be automated by
recording user operations in the nom-
inal project. Optimetrics then replays
the macro for each setup during the
solution batch process. The difference
between the reference metal plate re-
flection and the PBG reflection (with
an adjustment factor of 180° to center
the desired result about zero) is iden-
tified in Optimetrics as the final
sweep output of interest.
The results of this analysis are
shown in Figure 9, with points ex-
tracted from the measured data pub-
lished in the referenced paper. I n this
case, the Ansoft HFSS and Optimet-
Phase E ds
( )

= •

180 360 –
L Fig. 8 A hexagonal lattice high impedance PBG on ε
= 2.2 substrate.

8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22
Fig. 9 A comparison of HFSS-obtained
reflection phase results
and measured data.