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Design and Realization of Variable Reactance

Reflection Phase Shifter

V. Rinčić, N. Stojanović

Abstract – Design and practical realization of circuit that is (varactors). The schematic of the variable reactance
common used in telecommunication for phase shifting are reflection phase shifter is shown in Fig. 1.
describe in this text. Principle operation, design and simulation of
variable reactance reflection phase shifter are explained. At the
end, after practical realization, measurement and comparing of
derived and assumed results are accomplished.

A phase shifter [1] is a two-port network with the
provision that the phase difference between the output and
the input signals may be controlled by a control signal –
DC bias. Phase shifters can be analog or digital. Phase Fig. 1. Variable reactance reflection phase shifter
shifters are digital when the differential phase shift can be
changed by only few discrete values, such as 180° , 90° , As hybrid coupler, the quadrature single-box
45° , 22.5° and 11.25° . In analog phase shifters, the branchline coupler is used here (Fig. 2. note: all 4 arms are
differential phase shift can be varied in a continuous λ/4 in length). Signal from port 1 is equally distributed to
manner by a corresponding continuous variation of control port 2 and port 3, while port 4 is isolated. The phase
signal. Digital phase shifters find extensive applications in difference between signals at port 2 and 3 is 90 degrees
phase-array antenna systems. Phase control of the signals (see Fig. 2) [3].
fed to the various elements of the array allows the direction
of the radiated beam to be scanned electronically.
There are two methods for designing digital phase
shifters at microwave frequencies. One is to use the
properties of ferromagnetic materials for obtaining
switchable phase shift. The other important design for
digital phase shifters uses semiconductor devices. Phase
shifters using semiconductor devices can be either of the
reflection type or the transmission type. In reflection type
phase shifters, the basic design unit is a one-port network,
Fig. 2. Quadrature single-box branchline coupler
and it is the phase shift of the reflected signal that is
changed by the control signal. This basic one-port phase
Ports 2 and 3 are loaded with varactors. Signal from
shifters can be converted into useful two-port components
port 1 (in), which is equally distributed to port 2 and port 3,
either by using a circulator or a hybrid. Because of the ease
is reflected from these reactances, and travels to port 4
integration, the hybrid type phase shifters are more
(out), with phase shift.
There are two states in operating of phase shifter. In
first state, when the DC bias is low, there is one value of
II. VARIABLE REACTANCE REFLECTION PHASE phase shift, and when DC bias changes its value, the
SHIFTER capacitance of varactor is changed and there is different
phase shift. Difference between these two shifts represents
The most common used type of reflection phase overall phase shift.
shifters are variable reactance reflection phase shifters [2]. Equation (1) shows phase shift when the DC bias has
Circuit uses a 90-degree hybrid and variable reactance value V1, where CV 1 is capacitance of varactor at DC bias
V. Rinčić, N. Stojanović are with the Department of V1. Equation (2) shows phase shift when the DC bias has
Telecommunications, Faculty of Electronic Engineering, value V2, and equation (3) shows overall phase shift.
University of Niš, Aleksandra Medvedeva 14, 18000 Niš, Serbia,
ϕV 1 = 2 ⋅ arctan(ωCV 1 Z 0) (1)
ϕV 1 = 2 ⋅ arctan(ωCV 1 Z 0) (2) -3.0

ϕ o = ϕV 1 − ϕV 2 (3)


A. Coupler design and optimization in ADS software
package -6.0
0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0 1.2 1.4 1.6

Circuit design starts with hybrid design [3]. Here, the freq, GHz
ADS software package (product of Agilent Technologies),
i.e. his accessory LineCalc is used. Dimensions of -10

microstrip coupler are calculated, based on: substrate
thickness h = 1.5mm, substrate relative dielectric const ε = -20

4.34, metallization thickness t = 0.015mm, central

frequency f = 1GHz, characteristic impedance Z 0 = 50Ω
and effective electric length 90˚. Calculated values for line -40
length and line width are as follows: in case where 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0 1.2 1.4 1.6

Z C = Z 0 = 50Ω - W = 2.85723mm, L = 41.3073mm, and freq, GHz

in case where Z C = 0.707 ⋅ Z 0 = 0.707 ⋅ 50Ω = 35.35Ω -

W=4.88455mm, L = 40.2818mm. Fig. 4. Parameters S31 and S41 at f = 1GHz.
Designed hybrid coupler is then simulated in ADS
software. Fig. 3 and Fig. 4 show results of this simulation. Figures show that there are no minimums of
Following parameters are shown: S11 (reflection parameters S11 and S41 at frequency f = 1GHz, and
coefficient), S21 and S31 (transmission coefficients), and maximums of S21 and S31 parameters. This means that aim
S41 (insulation coefficient) changing with frequency. of coupler usage is not achieved. Entirely diagram is
shifted to left, toward lower frequencies. Thereby
parameters optimization is needed. Also, line optimization
is done here. The goal of optimization is that parameters
-10 S11 and S41 achieve min values at desired frequency f = 1

-20 GHz and that parameters S21 and S31 have maximum
(should not be lower than -3dB). After optimization and
after updating values characteristics of coupler have shape
shown in Fig. 5 and Fig. 6. Figures show that optimal
-50 coupler characteristics at desired frequency are achieved.
0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0 1.2 1.4 1.6

freq, GHz 0


-5 -30

-6 -40

-8 0.80 0.85 0.90 0.95 1.00 1.05 1.10 1.15 1.20
0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0 1.2 1.4 1.6
freq, GHz
freq, GHz

Fig. 3. Parameters S11 and S21 at f = 1GHz. -4.0



0.80 0.85 0.90 0.95 1.00 1.05 1.10 1.15 1.20

freq, GHz
Fig. 5. Parameters S11 and S21 at f = 1GHz after optimization On the basis of good simulation results, layout design
0 has started. First of all, it is necessary to create input/output
-10 ports in ADS, and so called gaps for varactors. Gaps are
created on the basis of dimensions supplied from datasheet.
Additionally, in Fig. 8 two extra microstrip lines after
-30 varactors can be noticed. These lines have to be large
enough for drilling holes. Varactors are soldered through
these holes to metallization on the other side (ground).
0.80 0.85 0.90 0.95 1.00 1.05 1.10 1.15 1.20
Layout of phase shifter is shown in Fig. 8.
freq, GHz







0.80 0.85 0.90 0.95 1.00 1.05 1.10 1.15 1.20

freq, GHz

Fig. 6. Parameters S31 and S41 at f = 1GHz after optimization

B. Device simulation in ADS

When hybrid coupler was designed and optimized it is

needed to simulate device work, in order to see what phase
shifts are made by changing of polarization voltage of
varactors. Varactors can be changed with capacitors which
Fig. 8. Phase shifter layout
have values of capacitance that correspond to voltage
values. It can be seen from varactor datasheet. For
Layout is made on metallized substrate where
example, there is phase of S21 parameter for capacitance of
varactors and connectors are situated on. Varactors
5 pF of varactor (polarization voltage 10V) shown in Fig. BB105A and female F connectors are used for this project.
7. It should be pointed out that port 4 of hybrid coupler is Final shape of this device is given in Fig.9.
now denoted as port 2 – output port.


-100 m1

0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0 1.2 1.4 1.6

freq, GHz

Fig. 7. Phase of output signal for Vbias = 10V

Fig. 9. Final shape of phase shifter.
MEASURING B. Measuring device performance and results

A. Layout design Performance of phase shifter is measured by spectrum

analyzer manufactured by Hewlett-Packard company.
Dependence of phase shift from supply voltage is
measured. It is needed to measure phase component of
parameter S21 for different varactor polarization voltage
values. Fig.10 shows the way that phase shift is changing, TABLE 1


2 12 169.5 171
4 9 179 180
6 7.3 -169 -171
8 6 -159 -159
10 5 -149 -144
12 4 -190 -128
14 3.4 -114 -115
16 3.1 -106 -105
18 2.8 -97.5 -97
20 2.3 -93.5 -90
22 2.2 -84.5 -85
24 2.1 -83 -80
26 2 -78.5 -77
Fig. 10. Measured dependence between phase shift and DC
supply voltage.
V. CONCLUSION [1] I. Bahl, P. Bhartia, Microwave solid state circuit design 2nd
edition, Wiley-Interscience, Wiley&Sons Inc., 2003.
In Table 1 are shown both simulated and measured
values for phase shifts for various DC voltage values (for [2] “Phase Shifter Design Tutorial”
various capacitance values of varactor). On the basis of
these results it can be concluded that realization of this [3] David M. Pozar, Microwave engineering, John Wiley&Sons,
device was successful and that noticed differences in Inc, 1998.
results are acceptable.