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Smith chart

Smith chart

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Smith Chart

The Smith chart is one of the most useful graphical tools for high

frequency circuit applications. The chart provides a clever way to

visualize complex functions and it continues to endure popularity

decades after its original conception.

From a mathematical point of view, the Smith chart is simply a

representation of all possible complex impedances with respect to

coordinates defined by the reflection coefficient.

The domain of definition of the

reflection coefficient is a circle of

radius 1 in the complex plane. This

is also the domain of the Smith chart.

Im( )

Re( )

1

Transmission Lines

Amanogawa, 2000 - Digital Maestro Series 138

The goal of the Smith chart is to identify all possible impedances on

the domain of existence of the reflection coefficient. To do so, we

start from the general definition of line impedance (which is equally

applicable to the load impedance)

( )

( )

( )

( )

0

1

( )

1

V d d

Z d Z

I d d

+

This provides the complex function ( ) ( ) { } ( ) Re , Im Z d f that

we want to graph. It is obvious that the result would be applicable

only to lines with exactly characteristic impedance Z

0

.

In order to obtain universal curves, we introduce the concept of

normalized impedance

( ) ( )

( )

0

1

( )

1

Z d d

z d

Z d

+

Transmission Lines

Amanogawa, 2000 - Digital Maestro Series 139

The normalized impedance is represented on the Smith chart by

using families of curves that identify the normalized resistance r

(real part) and the normalized reactance x (imaginary part)

( ) ( ) ( )

Re Im z d z j z r jx + +

Lets represent the reflection coefficient in terms of its coordinates

( ) ( ) ( )

Re Im d j +

Now we can write

( ) ( )

( ) ( )

( ) ( ) ( )

( ) ( ) ( )

2 2

2

2

1 Re Im

1 Re Im

1 Re Im 2Im

1 Re Im

j

r jx

j

j

+ +

+

+

+

Transmission Lines

Amanogawa, 2000 - Digital Maestro Series 140

The real part gives

( ) ( )

( ) ( ) ( )

( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( )

( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( )

( ) ( ) ( )

( )

( ) ( )

( ) ( )

2 2

2 2

2 2 2 2

2 2 2

2

2 2

2

2 2

2

1 Re Im

1 Re Im

1 1

Re 1 Re 1 Im Im 0

1 1

1 1

Re 1 Re 1 1 Im

1 1

1

1 Re 2 Re 1 Im

1 1

1

1

Re Im

1 1

r

r r

r r

r r

r r

r r

r r

r r

r

r

r r

+

+ + + +

+ +

+ + + +

+ +

+ + + +

+ +

+

+

+ +

1

1

]

1

1

]

1

1

]

= 0

Add a quantity equal to zero

Equation of a circle

Transmission Lines

Amanogawa, 2000 - Digital Maestro Series 141

The imaginary part gives

( )

( ) ( ) ( )

( ) ( ) ( ) ( )

( ) ( ) ( ) ( )

( ) ( ) ( ) ( )

( ) ( ) ( )

2 2

2 2 2

2 2

2 2

2 2

2 2

2

2

2

2 Im

1 Re Im

1 Re Im 2 Im 1 1 0

2 1 1

1 Re Im Im

2 1 1

1 Re Im Im

1 1

Re 1 Im

x

x x

x

x x

x

x x

x

x

+

+ +

+ +

+ +

+

1

]

1

]

1

1

]

1

1

]

= 0

Multiply by x and add a

quantity equal to zero

Equation of a circle

Transmission Lines

Amanogawa, 2000 - Digital Maestro Series 142

The result for the real part indicates that on the complex plane with

coordinates (Re(), Im()) all the possible impedances with a given

normalized resistance r are found on a circle with

1

, 0

1 1

r

r r + +

Center = Radius =

As the normalized resistance r varies from 0 to , we obtain a

family of circles completely contained inside the domain of the

reflection coefficient | | 1 .

Im( )

Re( )

r = 0

r

r = 1

r = 0.5

r = 5

Transmission Lines

Amanogawa, 2000 - Digital Maestro Series 143

The result for the imaginary part indicates that on the complex

plane with coordinates (Re(), Im()) all the possible impedances

with a given normalized reactance x are found on a circle with

1 1

1 ,

x x

Center = Radius =

As the normalized reactance x varies from - to , we obtain a

family of arcs contained inside the domain of the reflection

coefficient | | 1 .

Im( )

Re( )

x = 0

x t

x = 1

x = 0.5

x = -1

x = - 0.5

Transmission Lines

Amanogawa, 2000 - Digital Maestro Series 144

Basic Smith Chart techniques for loss-less transmission lines

Given Z(d) Find (d)

Given (d) Find Z(d)

Given

R

and Z

R

Find (d) and Z(d)

Given (d) and Z(d) Find

R

and Z

R

Find d

max

and d

min

(maximum and minimum locations for the

voltage standing wave pattern)

Find the Voltage Standing Wave Ratio (VSWR)

Given Z(d) Find Y(d)

Given Y(d) Find Z(d)

Transmission Lines

Amanogawa, 2000 - Digital Maestro Series 145

Given Z(d) Find (d)

1. Normalize the impedance

( )

( )

0 0 0

d

d

Z

R X

z j r j x

Z Z Z

+ +

2. Find the circle of constant normalized resistance r

3. Find the arc of constant normalized reactance x

4. The intersection of the two curves indicates the reflection

coefficient in the complex plane. The chart provides

directly the magnitude and the phase angle of (d)

Example: Find (d), given

( )

0

d 25 100 with 50 Z j Z +

Transmission Lines

Amanogawa, 2000 - Digital Maestro Series 146

1

-1

0

0.2 0.5 5

0.2

-0.2

2 1

-0 5

0 5

-3

3

2

-2

1. Normalization

z (d) = (25 + j 100)/50

= 0.5 + j 2.0

2. Find normalized

resistance circle

r = 0.5

3. Find normalized

reactance arc

x = 2.0

4. This vector represents

the reflection coefficient

(d) = 0.52 + j0.64

| (d)| = 0.8246

(d) = 0.8885 rad

= 50.906

50.906

1.

0.8246

Transmission Lines

Amanogawa, 2000 - Digital Maestro Series 147

Given (d) Find Z(d)

1. Determine the complex point representing the given

reflection coefficient (d) on the chart.

2. Read the values of the normalized resistance r and of the

normalized reactance x that correspond to the reflection

coefficient point.

3. The normalized impedance is

( )

d z r j x +

and the actual impedance is

( ) ( )

0 0 0 0

(d) d Z Z z Z r j x Z r j Z x + +

Transmission Lines

Amanogawa, 2000 - Digital Maestro Series 148

Given

R

and Z

R

Find (d) and Z(d)

NOTE: the magnitude of the reflection coefficient is constant along

a loss-less transmission line terminated by a specified load, since

( ) ( )

d exp 2 d

R R

j

Therefore, on the complex plane, a circle with center at the origin

and radius |

R

| represents all possible reflection coefficients

found along the transmission line. When the circle of constant

magnitude of the reflection coefficient is drawn on the Smith chart,

one can determine the values of the line impedance at any location.

The graphical step-by-step procedure is:

1. Identify the load reflection coefficient

R

and the

normalized load impedance Z

R

on the Smith chart.

Transmission Lines

Amanogawa, 2000 - Digital Maestro Series 149

2. Draw the circle of constant reflection coefficient

amplitude |(d)| =|

R

|.

3. Starting from the point representing the load, travel on

the circle in the clockwise direction, by an angle

2

2 d 2 d

on the transmission line. Here, the values of (d) and

Z(d) can be read from the chart as before.

Example: Given

0

25 100 50

R

Z j Z + with

find

( ) ( ) 0.18 Z d d d and for

Transmission Lines

Amanogawa, 2000 - Digital Maestro Series 150

1

-1

0

0.2 0.5 5

0.2

-0.2

2 1

-0 5

0 5

-3

3

2

-2

R

z

R

R

= 2 d

= 2 (2/) 0.18

= 2.262 rad

= 129.6

z(d)

(d)

(d) = 0.8246 -78.7

= 0.161 j 0.809

z(d) = 0.236 j1.192

Z(d) = z(d) Z

0

= 11.79 j59.6

Circle with constant | |

Transmission Lines

Amanogawa, 2000 - Digital Maestro Series 151

Given

R

and Z

R

Find d

max

and d

min

1. Identify on the Smith chart the load reflection coefficient

R

or the normalized load impedance Z

R

.

2. Draw the circle of constant reflection coefficient

amplitude |(d)| =|

R

|. The circle intersects the real axis

of the reflection coefficient at two points which identify

d

max

(when (d) = Real positive) and d

min

(when (d) =

Real negative)

3. A commercial Smith chart provides an outer graduation

where the distances normalized to the wavelength can be

read directly. The angles, between the vector

R

and the

real axis, also provide a way to compute d

max

and d

min

.

Example: Find d

max

and d

min

for

0

25 100 ; 25 100 ( 50 )

R R

Z j Z j Z +

Transmission Lines

Amanogawa, 2000 - Digital Maestro Series 152

1

-1

0

0.2 0.5 5

0.2

-0.2

2 1

-0 5

0 5

-3

3

2

-2

R

Z

R

R

2 d

min

= 230.9

d

min

= 0.3207

2 d

max

= 50.9

d

max

= 0.0707

Im(Z

R

) > 0

Z j Z

R

25 100 50

0

( )

Transmission Lines

Amanogawa, 2000 - Digital Maestro Series 153

1

-1

0

0.2 0.5 5

0.2

-0.2

2 1

-0 5

0 5

-3

3

2

-2

R

Z

R

R

2 d

min

= 129.1

d

min

= 0.1793

2 d

max

= 309.1

d

max

= 0.4293

Im(Z

R

) < 0

Z j Z

R

25 100 50

0

( )

Transmission Lines

Amanogawa, 2000 - Digital Maestro Series 154

Given

R

and Z

R

Find the Voltage Standing Wave Ratio (VSWR)

The Voltage standing Wave Ratio or VSWR is defined as

max

min

1

1

R

R

V

VSWR

V

+

The normalized impedance at a maximum location of the standing

wave pattern is given by

( )

( )

( )

max

max

max

1 1

!!!

1 1

R

R

d

z d VSWR

d

+ +

This quantity is always real and 1. The VSWR is simply obtained

on the Smith chart, by reading the value of the (real) normalized

impedance, at the location d

max

where is real and positive.

Transmission Lines

Amanogawa, 2000 - Digital Maestro Series 155

The graphical step-by-step procedure is:

1. Identify the load reflection coefficient

R

and the

normalized load impedance Z

R

on the Smith chart.

2. Draw the circle of constant reflection coefficient

amplitude |(d)| =|

R

|.

3. Find the intersection of this circle with the real positive

axis for the reflection coefficient (corresponding to the

transmission line location d

max

).

4. A circle of constant normalized resistance will also

intersect this point. Read or interpolate the value of the

normalized resistance to determine the VSWR.

Example: Find the VSWR for

1 2 0

25 100 ; 25 100 ( 50 )

R R

Z j Z j Z +

Transmission Lines

Amanogawa, 2000 - Digital Maestro Series 156

1

-1

0

0.2 0.5 5

0.2

-0.2

2 1

-0 5

0 5

-3

3

2

-2

R1

z

R1

z

R2

R2

Circle with constant | |

z(d

max

)=10.4

For both loads

VSWR = 10.4

Circle of constant

conductance r = 10.4

Transmission Lines

Amanogawa, 2000 - Digital Maestro Series 157

Given Z(d) Find Y(d)

Note: The normalized impedance and admittance are defined as

( )

( )

( )

( )

1 1

( ) ( )

1 1

d d

z d y d

d d

+

+

Since

( )

( )

( )

( )

4

1

1

4

4 1

1

4

d d

d

d

z d y d

d

d

_

+

,

_

+ +

_

,

+

+ _

,

+

,

Transmission Lines

Amanogawa, 2000 - Digital Maestro Series 158

Keep in mind that the equality

( )

4

z d y d

_

+

,

is only valid for normalized impedance and admittance. The actual

values are given by

0

0

0

4 4

( )

( ) ( )

Z d Z z d

y d

Y d Y y d

Z

_ _

+ +

, ,

where Y

0

=1 /Z

0

is the characteristic admittance of the transmission

Transmission Lines

Amanogawa, 2000 - Digital Maestro Series 159

line.

The graphical step-by-step procedure is:

1. Identify the load reflection coefficient

R

and the

normalized load impedance Z

R

on the Smith chart.

2. Draw the circle of constant reflection coefficient

amplitude |(d)| =|

R

|.

3. The normalized admittance is located at a point on the

circle of constant || which is diametrically opposite to the

normalized impedance.

Example: Given

0

25 100 with 50

R

Z j Z +

find Y

R

.

Transmission Lines

Amanogawa, 2000 - Digital Maestro Series 160

1

-1

0

0.2 0.5 5

0.2

-0.2

2 1

-0 5

0 5

-3

3

2

-2

z(d) = 0.5 + j 2.0

Z(d) = 25 + j100 [ ]

y(d) = 0.11765 j 0.4706

Y(d) = 0.002353 j 0.009412 [ S ]

z(d+/4) = 0.11765 j 0.4706

Z(d+/4) = 5.8824 j 23.5294 [ ]

Circle with constant | |

= 180

= 2/4

Transmission Lines

Amanogawa, 2000 - Digital Maestro Series 161

The Smith chart can be used for line admittances, by shifting the

space reference to the admittance location. After that, one can

move on the chart just reading the numerical values as

representing admittances.

Lets review the impedance-admittance terminology:

Impedance = Resistance + j Reactance

Z R jX +

Admittance = Conductance + j Susceptance

Y G jB +

On the impedance chart, the correct reflection coefficient is always

represented by the vector corresponding to the normalized

impedance. Charts specifically prepared for admittances are

modified to give the correct reflection coefficient in correspondence

of admittance.

Transmission Lines

Amanogawa, 2000 - Digital Maestro Series 162

Smith Chart for

Admittances

0

0.2 0.5

5

-0.2

0.2

2

1

0 5

-0 5

3

-3

-2

2

-1

1

Positive

(capacitive)

susceptance

Negative

(inductive)

susceptance

z(d) = 0.5 + 2.0

Transmission Lines

Amanogawa, 2000 - Digital Maestro Series 163

Since related impedance and admittance are on opposite sides of

the same Smith chart, the imaginary parts always have different

sign.

Therefore, a positive (inductive) reactance corresponds to a

negative (inductive) susceptance, while a negative (capacitive)

reactance corresponds to a positive (capacitive) susceptance.

Numerically, we have

( )( )

2 2

2 2 2 2

1

z r j x y g j b

r j x

r j x r jx

y

r j x r j x

r x

r x

g b

r x r x

+ +

+

+

+

+ +

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