Compact filters based on stub-loaded parallel-coupled resonators

M. Garcia, E. Pistono, H. Maouche, and P. Ferrari
Institute of Microelectronics, Electromagnetism, and Photonics (IMEP-LAHC), Grenoble INP-UJF-University of Savoy-CNRS UMR 5130, BP 257, 38016 Grenoble Cedex 1, France
miguel.garcia-Garcia@minatec.inpg.fr emmanuel.pistono@ujf-grenoble.fr hana_maouche@yahoo.fr ferrari@minatec.inpg.fr

Abstract— Results of compact bandpass filters based on stubloaded parallel-coupled resonators are presented in this paper. The working frequency corresponds to the low UHF band. These resonators behave like short-circuited quarter wavelength resonators, but lead to smaller lengths, allowing obtaining very compact filters in a planar technology, without adding lumped components. Such filters seem to be efficient candidates to achieve selective and compact size filters, with high flexibility and simple design rules. Measurement results carried out on a single resonator validate the background theory. Next, two-pole and three-pole filters are designed. Measurements and simulations are in good agreement. Fractional bandwidths from 3.3 % to 6.7 % are obtained, with 3.65 dB and 2.8 dB insertion loss, respectively.

simulation results for the determination of the resonant frequency. In section III, results of a two-pole bandpass filter are presented, for a proof-of-concept. A first bandpass filter working around 800 MHz with a 3.3 % 3-dB fractional bandwidth (for broadcast applications) is simulated and measured. In section IV, a three-pole bandpass filter with a 5.8 % 3-dB fractional bandwidth is demonstrated. To reduce the area of the filter, folded-stubs are considered by using microstrip bends. The paper is concluded in section V. II. BACKGROUND THEORY A. Topology of the stub-loaded resonator Fig. 1 presents the topology of the proposed stub-loaded resonator.

I. INTRODUCTION Since a compact electronic system is cheaper, lighter, and usually more reliable, the miniaturization of RF and millimetre circuits involves nowadays active researches. In order to obtain compact RF and microwave filters based on planar technologies, several miniaturization approaches exist. First, semi-lumped filters based on a hybrid technology putting together transmission lines and lumped capacitors can be realized [1,2]. Second, the distributed approach considering meandered transmission lines can be used, but at the expense of an important work to model parasitic couplings, for limited miniaturization ratios. Another issue is related to the use of high permittivity substrates, but only low characteristic impedance (lower than 50 Ω) can be achieved, and large gaps have to be realized for couplings, thus limiting the practical realizable filters. It is also possible to carry out filters based on lumped elements, i.e. inductors and capacitors, but an important work of modelling must be performed, due to case parasitics. Also high insertion loss is expected due to the poor quality factor of inductors. Therefore, this technology is especially used for low frequencies and VHF bands. In this paper, a distributed but compact filter topology is proposed, based on parallel-coupled stub-loaded resonators. In section II, a background theory of such resonators is presented, with a careful comparison between measurement and

Ζsc Ζoc θoc

θscc Ζoc θoc

Fig. 1 Schematic view of the stub-loaded resonator.

This resonator consists of an open-ended elementary resonator of electrical length 2θoc (“oc” for open circuit), and characteristic impedance Zoc, loaded by a short-circuited stub of electrical length θsc (“sc” for short circuit) and characteristic impedance Zsc. The resonance condition can be easily derived by considering the open-ended condition for the elementary resonator, and the short-ended condition for the stub. It is given by the relation: Z 2 ⋅ Tan (θ sc ) ⋅ Tan (θ oc ) = oc . (1) Z sc

In a first approximation, considering small electrical lengths, the resonance frequency fr can be estimated by: c Z oc Z sc (2) fr = 0 ⋅ ⋅ 2 ⋅π 2 ⋅ ε reff _ sc ⋅ lsc ⋅ ε reff _ oc ⋅ loc

(

)(

)

where εreff_sc and εreff_sc are the relative effective permittivities of the short-circuited stub and the open-ended elementary resonator, respectively. From this straightforward relation, it is obvious that the resonance frequency is inversely dependent to the short-circuited stub length lsc and to the open-ended elementary resonator length loc. The particularity of such resonators is that the smaller the Z oc Z sc ratio is, the smaller the resonant frequency is. So, highly miniaturized resonators can be designed by choosing a small Z oc Z sc ratio. The comparison between the electrical length of the stubloaded resonator described in Fig. 1 and that of classical halfwavelength open-ended and quarter-wavelength resonators is carried out in Fig. 2.
200 180 160 Electrical length (°) 140 120 100 80 60 40 20 0 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 Stub electrical length (°)
Minimum = 49° Zoc/Zsc=0.2 Zoc/Zsc=0.5
v

Half-wavelength open-ended resonator

Zoc/Zsc=1

quarter-wavelength resonator

dielectric loss tangent tgδ = 0, 0023 ; dielectric thickness h = 813 m; copper thickness t = 8 m). For this resonator, the characteristic impedances Zsc and Zoc are equal to 80 and 35 , respectively, leading to a ratio η equal to 0.44. The microstrip widths are Wsc = 0.8 mm and Woc = 3.2 mm, respectively. The effective relative permittivities are εreff_sc = 2.50 and εreff_oc = 2.78, respectively. The physical lengths lsc and loc have been fixed to the same value lsc = loc = 15.2 mm, to obtain a resonance frequency fr equal to 804 MHz. Fig. 3 shows the photograph of the unloaded resonator. In order to measure the resonance frequency, the resonator was “slightly” coupled to near and far end feeding transmission lines, with a 2 mm gap width. Let us notice that the physical length of the open-ended resonator (2loc) equals 30.4 mm, that is 0.14 λ , which is more than three times smaller than a typical half-wavelength resonator, and still shorter than a quarter wavelength resonator. Fig. 4 shows the comparison between the measured and simulated transmission for this resonator. Measurement results show a resonant frequency equal to 795 MHz, i.e. 9 MHz (or 1 %) lower than the circuit simulation prediction. This value is confirmed by an electromagnetic simulation carried out with Agilent ADS Momentum, which shows a resonance frequency equal to 793 MHz. The difference between circuit and EM simulation is probably due to the parasitic coupling at the end of the feeding lines. The via hole modelling can also introduce some differences, because the realization of the via did not exactly follows the one simulated in ADS.

Fig. 2 Electrical length of the sub-loaded resonator. Dot lines: total electrical length θsc + 2θoc. Line: 2θoc.

The total electrical length θsc + 2θoc and the electrical length of the open-ended resonator alone 2θoc have been plotted, versus the stub electrical length θsc, for three different characteristic impedance ratios η = Zoc/Zsc. It can be seen that a great reduction can be achieved by considering small ratios. η = 0.2 leads to a minimum 49° total electrical length, that is the half of a classical quarter-wavelength resonator used for example in inter-digital filters. Such a small ratio is achievable in practical realizations, for example with Zsc = 120 , and Zoc = 24 . This value of Zoc looks small. However, it has to be considered that Zoc will be the result of coupled transmission lines for the filter, thus lowering this characteristic impedance. B. Measurement of the resonance frequency In order to verify the resonance condition given by relation (1), a resonator was designed with Agilent ADS™ on a RO4003 Rogers substrate (relative permittivity ε r = 3.38 ;

Fig. 3 Photograph of the slightly coupled short-circuited open-ended resonator.

-20 -25 -30 EM simulation Circuit simulation Measurement

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-35 -40 -45 -50 -55 -60 0.7 0.75 0.8 0.85 0.9

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Frequency (GHz)
Fig. 4 Measured and simulated transmission parameter for a slightly coupled short-circuited open-ended resonator.

III. PROOF-OF-CONCEPT : UNFOLDED TWO-POLE BANDPASS FILTER A first two-pole bandpass filter is presented with upright short-circuited stubs to validate the background theory at the centre frequency fc = 800 MHz with a loaded quality factor Q = 30. The filter is carried out on the RO4003 Rogers substrate specified above. A photograph of the realized filter microstrip filter is given in Fig. 5.

center frequency when a minimal rejection of -25 dB is considered. These resonant frequencies are due to the openended elementary resonators which are equal to halfwavelength resonators.
0 0

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lsc loc1 loc2

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-30 Circuit simulation Measurement -40 0.7 0.75 0.8 0.85 0.9

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Fig. 5 Photograph of the two-pole bandpass filter with upright short-circuited stubs.

(a)
0 0

The position of the stub on the resonator and its length can be used as degrees of freedom to adjust the bandwidth and the centre frequency. The gap width between the parallel coupled sections is fixed to 300 m. Then, to obtain the desired couplings between the resonators and then to reach the desired bandwidth, the electrical lengths θoc of these parallel coupled sections are optimized. Finally the centre frequency can be adjusted by modifying the stub electrical length θsc. The characteristic impedances Zsc = 48 (microstrip width Wsc = 2.02 mm) and Zoc = 40 (Woc = 2.7 mm) lead to a ratio η equal to 0.83. The physical lengths are lsc = 12.2 mm, loc1 = 35.63 mm and loc2 = 14.4 mm. The physical dimensions of this filter are 92.1 mm × 24.4 mm , that is

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Circuit simulation Circuit simulation Measurement Measurement

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(b) Fig. 6 Comparison between the measured and simulated (circuit) S parameters of the bandpass filter: (a) narrow-band measurements and (b) large-band measurements.

0.25 ⋅ λ0 × 0.07 ⋅ λ0 , where λ0 is the wavelength in vacuum. Fig. 6 shows the comparison between measurement and simulation results carried out with a circuit simulator (Agilent ADS™). Fig. 6 (a) shows that a center frequency shift of 2.4 % appears between electrical simulations and measurement results. This frequency shift is mainly due to a fairly bad modelling of the via holes with the ADS CAD tool. The measured bandwidth equals 26 MHz, compared to 23 MHz for the simulations, leading to loaded quality factors Q = 30 (3-dB fractional bandwidth 3.3 %) and Q = 34.8 (3-dB fractional bandwidth 2.9 %), respectively. The minimum insertion loss is 3.65 dB for the measurement, and 3.05 dB for the simulation, respectively. The measured return loss is poor, -7.5 dB, compared to -15.5 dB predicted by the simulation. This discrepancy is due to the existing couplings between open-ended sections and short-circuited stubs. Indeed, these couplings cannot be easily taken into account in the electrical ADS tool. Thus, electromagnetic simulations have to be performed to optimize the desired filter and take all the couplings into account. This is done for the next realizations shown in this paper Large-band measurements of S11 and S21 are given in
Fig. 6 (b). The stop bandwidth extends to about two times the

Even if there is a slight difference between measurement and simulation results carried out with a circuit simulator, these results validate the concept of filters realized with stubloaded parallel resonators. In the next section, an optimized filter, realized with folded stubs and on a higher permittivity substrate, is designed and measured. IV. FOLDED THREE-POLE BANDPASS FILTERS In this section a three-pole bandpass filter is demonstrated. The working frequency and the bandwidth are fixed to 800 MHz and 50 MHz (6.25 %), respectively. To improve the compactness, the short-circuited stubs are folded and the Rogers RO3010 high permittivity substrate is considered (relative permittivity ε r = 10, 2 ; dielectric loss tangent tgδ = 0, 0023 ; dielectric thickness h = 635 m; copper thickness t = 17.5 m). In order to obtain a more accurate design, EM simulations were performed with ADS Momentum. A photograph of the realized folded filter is given in Fig. 7. Zsc and Zoc are equal to 34 and 47 , respectively, leading to a ratio η = 1.38. The microstrip widths are Wsc = 1.2 mm and Woc = 0.65 mm, respectively. The physical

dimensions of this filter are 65.9 mm × 21.2 mm that is 0.18 ⋅ λ0 × 0.06 ⋅ λ0 , where λ0 is the wavelength in vacuum.. This is much smaller compared to the dimensions of the filter realized in section III, even if this filter is a three-pole instead of a two-pole. Moreover, the length of a classical three-pole parallel coupled filter would be equal to about 0.85 ⋅ λ0 , i.e. quite five times longer than the actual filter.

500 MHz, which is only 300 MHz apart from the centre frequency. It also reaches more than 50 dB between the first spurious and the centre frequency.
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Fig. 7 Photograph of the three-pole bandpass filter with folded stubs.

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(a)

EM simulation and measurement results are given in Fig. 8. The agreement is quite good. However, the center frequency fc is shifted from 800 MHz for the EM simulation to 774 MHz for the measurement, i.e. 3 %. The measured bandwidth equals 51 MHz, compared to 53 MHz for the simulations, leading to a loaded quality factor close to 15. The minimum insertion loss is 2.8 dB for the measurement, and 2.85 dB for the simulation, respectively. The measured return loss is better than 13.4 dB.
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(b) Fig. 9 Measured and EM post-simulated S parameters of the three-pole stubfolded bandpass filter: (a) narrow-band and (b) large-band.

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Fig. 8 Measured and EM simulated S parameters of the three-pole stubfolded bandpass filter.

The origin of the discrepancy between EM simulations and measurements is mainly due to the via holes modelling. Indeed, by adding a series inductance of 0.55 nH and a series resistance of 0.1 Ω with each via hole, an excellent agreement between measurements and EM simulations is obtained, as shown in Fig. 9, where narrow-band (Fig. 9(a)) and large-band (Fig. 9(b)) results of S11 and S21 are given, when these elements are added in the simulation. Large-band measurements show that spurious are better rejected compared to the two-pole filter. This is due to the use of different resonators for the three-pole filter, leading to different resonances for the first harmonics. This can be compared to filters realized with Stepped-Impedance Resonators, and perhaps opens the door to the design of filters having very large rejection bands. The attenuation in the rejected band is very high in the low frequency side; it is greater than 70 dB at

V. CONCLUSION A novel topology of resonators has been demonstrated. The total electrical length of the new resonators can be as small as the half of a classical quarter-wave length resonator used for example in inter-digital filters, depending on the desired bandwidth. Compact and selective two-pole and three-pole bandpass filters have been designed with this new topology of resonators. 3-dB fractional bandwidths included between 3.3 % and 5.8 % have been measured, with insertion loss of 3.65 dB and 2.8 dB, respectively. The three-pole filter was designed with a EM CAD tool, leading to an excellent agreement between measurement and simulation results. The first spurious frequency appears at about twice the centre frequency and a high out-of-band rejection is obtained (more than 50 dB from both sides of the pass-band behaviour). REFERENCES
[1] E. Pistono, et al., “Compact Fixed and Tune-All Bandpass Filters Based on Coupled Slow-Wave Resonators”, IEEE Trans. on Mic. Theory and Tech., Vol. 54, no. 6, pp. 2790-2799, June 2006. H. Issa, et al, "Miniaturized DBR Filter: Formulation and Performances Improvement", Proc. IEEE Int. Mic. Theory and Tech. Symp., MTT-S 2008, Atlanta, USA, June 10-15, 2008.

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