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Characteristics of the Composite Right/Left-Handed Transmission Lines
Atsushi Sanada, Member, IEEE, Christophe Caloz, Member, IEEE, and Tatsuo Itoh, Life Fellow, IEEE
Abstract—The composite right/left-handed (CRLH) transmission line (TL) is presented as a general TL possessing both left-handed (LH) and right-handed (RH) natures. The dispersion diagram of the two-dimensional (2-D) CRLH-TL is obtained analytically based on the Bloch-Floquet theory, and the unique phenomenon of infinite guided-wavelength propagation, with nonzero group velocity at a nonzero frequency, is explained. It is shown analytically that when the CRLH TL is “balanced,” two eigenfrequencies at the 0 point ( = 0) of the Brillouin zone (BZ) degenerate at 0 and a seamless transition from the LH to the RH modes without a bandgap can be achieved. In addition, these phenomena are demonstrated experimentally in the case of a CRLH microstrip line. Index Terms—Composite right/left-handed transmission line, left-handed materials, metamaterials.

Fig. 1.

Unit cell of the 2-D CRLH TL.



HE composite right/left-handed (CRLH) transmission line (TL) [1] is a TL composed of the periodic repetition of a unit cell comprising a series inductance and a shunt capacitance as well as a series capacitance and a shunt inductance. The series capacitance and shunt inductance provide left-handedness (anti-parallel phase and group velocities) [1]–[9] at lower frequencies, whereas the series inductance and shunt capacitance provide the right-handedness (parallel phase and group velocities) at higher frequencies. The CRLH TL is intrinsically nonresonant and thereby presents the advantages of lower loss and broader bandwidth than resonant-type left-handed (LH) materials [9]. In addition, the CRLH TL appropriately represents real distributed LH structures [1], [3], [4], which have inevitable distributed parasitic series inductance and shunt capacitance, in contrast to the idealized LH TL which represents only a series capacitance and shunt inductance in the unit cell. Similar TL model for the specific configuration of LC lumped-element components in conjunction with interconnecting TL sections has been proposed and the negative refractive property has been demonstrated by using the two-dimensional (2-D) TL configuration [8]. In this letter, a fully lumped CRLH TL model is presented as a general form of TLs with LH and RH natures, and their transmission/bandgap properties are explained and demonManuscript received July 3, 2003. This work is part of the MURI program “Scalable and Reconfigurable Electromagnetic Metamaterials and Devices.” It was supported by the Department of Defense (N00014-01-1-0803) and monitored by the U.S. Office of Naval Research. The review of this letter was arranged by Associate Editor Rüdiger Vahldieck. The authors are with the Electrical Engineering Department, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1594 USA (e-mail:;; Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/LMWC.2003.822563

strated both analytically and experimentally. Represented by fully-lumped elements, the CRLH TL model can well describe the parasitic effects of the implemented structure and provides a deep insight into the LH/RH composite nature. In particular, it explains the phenomenon of seamless (without a bandgap) transition between LH and RH ranges. The dispersion characteristics of the 2-D CRLH TL are obtained analytically based on the Bloch-Floquet theory. The concept of balanced/unbalanced CRLH TLs is described and the unique phenomenon of vanishement of the bandgap between the LH and RH modes in the balanced CRLH TL is shown. The frequencies in the Brilgroup velocity at the point louin zone (BZ) [10] is also derived and energy propagation at the point is discussed. Experiments for balanced/unbalanced TLs implemented in CRLH microstrip line configuration are also carried out and compared with the theory. II. 2-D CRLH TLS The 2-D CRLH TL is configured as a periodic network with the unit cell shown in Fig. 1. The physical size of the unit cell . Here, losses are neglected for simplicity. and is represent the series inductance and shunt capaciand represent tance in the and directions. Similarly, the series inductance and shunt capacitance. In the following discussion, we only deal with the isotropic case where the unit and the element values along cell is square the and directions are identical ( , and ), although the proposed theory can be straightforwardly extended to anisotropic 2-D TL [11]. The TL can be effectively homogeneous in the frequency region where the guided-wavelength is large compared with the unit cell size. -maExpressing the unit cell in terms of a four-port trix and solving the eigenvalue problem with the Bloch-Floquet periodic boundary conditions [8], we obtain the dispersion relation of the 2-D CRLH TL as (1)

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2 mm.57 mm. is negative in the frequency the group velocity range of for positive path). which are given by (3) The dispersion diagram calculated from (1)–(3) is shown in Fig.1 mm. the number of the interdigital finger pairs: 5. Balanced and unbalanced CRLH TLs and their frequency characteristics. In contrast. (a) The microstrip line type CRLH TL and the unit cell. respectively. Dispersion diagram of the CRLH TLs. the spacing between the fingers: 0. In general. in this balanced case. L = 1:0 nH. The width of the interdigited finger: 0. and are the series impedance and the shunt adand mittance of the unit cell branches. is satisfied. 2. the number of the interdigital finger pairs: 5. thickness: 1. 2. it supports forward waves . = 8:0 mm. that is. (c) Frequency characteristics of the unbalanced CRLH TL. l = 6:0 mm. As seen from the slope of the dispersion curve in Fig.: CHARACTERISTICS OF THE COMPOSITE RIGHT/LEFT-HANDED TRANSMISSION LINES 69 Fig. are due to highpass and lowpass below nature of the unit cell. Thick curves: a balanced CRLH TL case (L = 1:0 nH. 2. Thin curves: an unbalanced CRLH TL case (L = 5:5 nH. which is discussed in the next section. C = 2:0 pF. C = 1:0 pF). l = 5:0 mm. C = 1:0 pF). BALANCED/UNBALANCED CRLH TL The point eigenfrequencies and . This means that the wave has anti-parallel group and phase velocities and that therefore the CRLH TL supports backward waves (LH mode). both the series resonant circuit and the shunt anti-reso. III. and degenerate and the bandgap vanishes.path is given by the derivaas tive of the . L = 1:0 nH. l = 2:0 mm. The group velocity along the . there exists a bandgap between the LH and RH modes except in the particular balanced CRLH case. The width of the interdigited finger: w 0. the spacing l between the fingers: 0. respectively. where (2) where and are wave numbers in the and directions. w = 1:0 mm. which delimit the upper and lower edges of the bandgap. C = 1:0 pF.15 mm.SANADA et al. = 10:0 mm. It should be noted nant circuit in the unit cell resonate at at . Substrate: " = 2:2. the wavelength is infithat at the point nite and the structure is perfectly homogeneous . 3. (b) Frequency characteristics of the balanced CRLH TL. It should be noted that. The cut-off regions (RH mode) in the range and above .3 mm. are given by solving (2) as for (4) In the particular “balanced” case when the inductance and capacitance ratios of the LH and RH components of the unit cell are identical.relation obtained from (1)–(3) with (6) . (5) Fig.

C.” Sov. 187–190. Symp. Hence. consequently. Those concepts have been demonstrated experimentally in the case of microstrip line configuration. and 0. C.11. K. Phys. pp. using Bernoulli-l’Hopital’s rule. Symp. Veselago. vol. respectively . Vier. 4. Kremer. salient features. [4] A. and S.. pp. 3(b). Itoh. when (5) is not satisfied (unbalanced case). 1995. 14. Kittel. 509–514. 203–206. at the transition frequency of As a comparison. we obtain (7).. [2] V. C.45 nH. Cheng. IV. the group and become zero. pp. 195–198. In infinite-wavelength wave with energy transmission contrast.” in IEEE-MTT Int. pp. 1968. Rev. With and . Caloz. 2002.70 IEEE MICROWAVE AND WIRELESS COMPONENTS LETTERS. FEBRUARY 2004 In the balanced case. [11] C. and P. Padilla. the two point frequencies degenerate and that. and T. “Metamaterials with negative permittivity and permeability: Background.. backward/forward leaky-wave antennas. the bandgap between the LH and RH modes vanishes. Caloz and T. Symp. The structural parameters of the unit cell consisting of an interdigital capacitor and a shorted stub are optimized by full-wave simulation so that the unit . the group velocity at value (see the Appendix) takes the nonzero resonators. 4184–4187.. and there is therefore no velocities at according to (6)). A. circuit simulation. June 2002. Dig. Group Velocity at the Point in the Balanced CRLH TL (7) where and are in H/m.” in IEEE-APS/URSI Int. Jan. Dig. This suggests that. W. “Tailoring double negative metamaterials responses to achieve anomalous propagation effects along microstrip transmission lines. 199.38 nH. June 2003. Engheta. June 2003. “Novel microwave devices and structures based on the transmission line approach of meta-materials. NO. 84. vol.. the group velocity takes a nonzero value at the degenerate frequency and there is continuous transition between the LH and RH modes. p. “Application of the transmission line theory of lefthanded (LH) materials to the realization of a microstrip LH transmission line. Dig. Lin. I. [9] D. 0. June 2003. 3(a). we have Therefore. 2. June 2003. 412–415. propagation ( In order to show the vanishment of the bandgap in the balanced CRLH TL. p. for instance. uration with pF was and also fabricated and the transmission and reflection characteristics are measured.” IEEE Trans. Dig. The measured frequency characteristics of the 9-cell balanced CRLH TL are shown in Fig. no. V. and T. The measured results agree well with the circuit/full-wave simulation results and a bandgap is observed as opposed to the balanced case at the predicted frequency GHz and band between GHz. both the denominator and the numerator of the group velocity (6) tends to zero. 50. 2702–2712. 7th ed.68 pF. Nemat-Nasser.50 pF. VOL. Itoh.” in IEEE-APS Int.. “Composite medium with simultaneously negative permeability and permittivity. New York: Wiley. Eleftheriades. Here. “A periodic-structure negative-refractive-index medium without resonant elements. “Orthogonal anisotropy in 2-D PBG structures and metamaterials.. Dec. Oliner. p. Uspekhi. Symp. 1. 3(b).” in IEEE-MTT Int. Itoh. and new trends. “Planar negative refractive index media using periodically L-C loaded transmission lines. pp. Microwave Theory Tech. Y. J. [8] G. CONCLUSION A 2-D CRLH TL has been presented and its unique property of infinite wavelength propagation with nonzero group velocity at a nonzero frequency in the case where the structure is balanced is explained.” in IEEE-APS Int. Dig. 41. pF. [5] A. 2.–Feb. in the balanced case. Symp. Dig. Caloz. Sanada. Smith. [7] R. Schultz. 10. a one-dimensional (1-D) balanced CRLH TL was fabricated in the microstrip line configuration [3] as shown in Fig. Iyer. the higher order modes between the adjacent unit cells are ignored. 3(c) shows the results of the measurements with corresponding circuit and full-wave simulation results. May 2000. Dig. when the angular frequency frequency tends to the point . G. zeroth-order In the balanced case . Symp. The extracted parameters of values from the full-wave simulation for the unit cell and alone are 3. D.. in the balanced CRLH TL. 1. no. R. we can have a seamless transition between the LH and RH ranges with .” in IEEE-MTT Int. June 2003. [10] C. nH. “2-D distributed meta-structures with negative refractive properties. Lett. A.” Phys. 4. The measured. which results in an undetermination. cell can be balanced. Symp. S. W. 18. and tight couplers [1]. Fig. APPENDIX A. respectively. Itoh. and full-wave simulation results agreed well with each other and it is noted that almost perfect transmission GHz is observed. . The presented properties of the CRLH TL can be utilized in novel epoch-making applications.10. C. an unbalanced CRLH TL of a 7-cell confignH.. vol. pp. vol. In this case. 2. “The electrodynamics of substances with simultaneously negative values of " and . vol. F/m. [6] N.” in IEEE-APS Int. vol. [3] C. Corresponding full-wave simulation results for the entire structure and circuit simulation results using the extracted parameters are also shown in Fig. June 2002. Caloz and T. Introduction to Solid State Physics. pp. REFERENCES [1] C. and its transmission and reflection characteristics were measured. Ziolkowski and C. It has been shown that.