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JOURNAL OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS, VOLUME 34, ISSUE 2, OCTOBER 2016

1

Reflectionless Filters with Arbitrary Transfer
Functions
Mohammad Khalaj-Amirhosseini and Arefeh Khalaj-Amirhosseini
Abstract—In this paper, a configuration is introduced as a reflectionless filter which can have an arbitrary transfer function. The
proposed configuration consists of two suitable complementary circuits. A methodology and some formulas are obtained to
design exactly the proposed configuration. Some examples are instanced to verify the efficiency of the introduced idea to make
reflectionless filters.
Index Terms—Reflectionless Filters, Matched Filters, Passive Filters, Filter Design.

——————————  ——————————

1 INTRODUCTION

F

ILTERS are widely used in electronic and microwave
circuits. Usually, filters are based on reflecting undesired frequencies. However, in some applications
such as mixers and high gain amplifiers, it is better to
absorb rather than reflect undesired frequencies. On this
basis, reflectionless, absorptive or all-frequency matched
filters could be useful and even necessary. A conventional
approach to design a reflectionless filter is using directional couplers or circulators along with conventional
filters [1]. However, these types of devices are narrowband and difficult to integrate within a compact multichip module. Recently, an idea has been introduced on
the basis of connecting two symmetric filters to each other
[2-3]. An important drawback of this idea is that the values of the elements of two symmetric filters are determined to create the duality condition not to create the
desired transfer function [2-3]. Hence, although the resultant filters are reflectionless but they have an imposed
transfer function rather than arbitrary one. In this paper,
another idea is proposed to design reflectionless filters
which have arbitrary transfer functions. This idea is based
on connecting two suitable complementary circuits to
each other. This idea is inspired by [4] in which multiplexers are designed by connecting some complementary
filters to each other. Here, a methodology and some rigorous formulas are obtained to design two complementary circuits of the proposed reflectionless filters.

to the resistive load Z0 and a lossy one-port circuit connected to the input port of the lossless one, in parallel.
The lossless circuit should have a singly-loaded transfer function equal to H (s )  V out (s)  2H (s )  A (s ) , in
T
V in (s)
B (s )
which A(s) and B(s) are known polynomials. Also, the
lossy circuit must be complementary of the lossless circuit
so that Y c (s ) Y (s )  Z 01 , where Y(s) is the input admittance of the lossless circuit and Yc(s) is the admittance of
the lossy circuit.
Z0

Vs

+
Y c(s)
V
(RLC) in
Zin(s)=Z0

+
Lossless (LC)
H(s)

Fig. 1 depicts the proposed configuration as a reflectionless filter terminated to resistor Z0 whose total transfer
function is H (s )  V out (s)  1 A (s ) while its input reflecT
V s (s) 2 B (s )
tion coefficient is zero, i.e. Zin=Z0. This configuration consists of two circuits; a lossless two-port circuit connected
————————————————

Z0

-

Y(s)

Fig. 1 Reflectionless Filter configuration

3 DESIGN METHODOLOGY
Since the two-port circuit is assumed lossless, the following equation would be hold from equality of its input and
output powers, i.e. V in2 Re Y ( j  )  V in2 | H ( j  ) |2 / Z 0 .

Re Y ( j  )  | H ( j ) |2  H ( j  )H ( j )

2 THE PROPOSED CONFIGURATION

Vout

(1)

in which Y (s ) Y (s ) Z  C (s ) is the normalized admit0
D (s )
tance of the lossless circuit and we have to find its numerator and denominator, C(s) and D(s).
It is known that the real part of any function versus
frequency , is equal to its even part versus laplace parameter s, when s = j. Therefore, according to (1), the
normalized admittance, Y (s ) , would have an even part,
M Y (s ) which is equal to H (s )H (s ) . Therefore,

 M. Khalaj-Amirhosseini is with School of Electrical Engineering, Iran
University of Science and Technology, Tehran, Iran.
 A. Khalaj-Amirhosseini is with School of Electrical Engineering, Iran University of Science and Technology, Tehran, Iran.
© 2016 JOT
www.journaloftelecommunications.co.uk

JOURNAL OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS, VOLUME 34, ISSUE 2, OCTOBER 2016
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M Y (s ) 

M C (s )M D (s)  N C (s )N D (s)
A (s )A (s )
 H (s )H (s ) 
D (s )D (s )
B (s )B (s )

(2)
where MX(s) and NX(s) are respectively the even and odd
parts of the corresponding polynomials C(s) or D(s).
According to (2), we will have the following equations
to find the unknown polynomials C(s) and D(s) for Y (s ) .

D (s )  B (s )  M B (s )  N B (s)
M C (s )M B (s)  N C (s )N B (s)  A (s )A (s )

(3)
(4)

To have a reflectionless filter, the normalized complementary admittance Y c (s )  Y c (s ) Z 0 must be equal to
the following function.

Y c (s )  1 Y (s ) 

E (s ) B (s ) C (s )

B (s )
B (s )

(5)

According to (1) and (5), the real part of the normalized complementary admittance versus frequency would
be as follows.
(6)
Re Y c ( j  )  1  Re Y ( j )  1 | H ( j  ) |2

To be realizable admittances Y (s ) and Y c (s ) , they
must be Positive Real (PR) functions [5-6]. It means that
the real part of both of them must be nonnegative at all
frequencies. With reference to (1) and (6), this condition
will be met if the arbitrary transfer function H(s) has the
following limitation.
(7)
0 | H ( j ) |2  1;   [0, )
The easy condition (7) beside that A(s) and B(s) have zeros only in the right hand side of s-plane (they are Absolute Hurwitz [5]), guarantee the realizability of both admittances Y (s ) and Y c (s ) . Also, it is possible to realize
more than one circuit for these two realizable admittances. So, the resultant circuits may be not unique.

0.491
. The normalized ads 3  0.988s 2  1.238s  0.491
mittances are obtained from the proposed methodology
H (s ) 

0.662s 2  0.654s  0.491
and
s 3  0.988s 2  1.238s  0.491
s 3  0.326s 2  0.584s
. Fig. 4 shows the realY c (s )  3
s  0.988s 2  1.238s  0.491
ised circuits for these admittances. The lossy circuit is
realized by Brune's method [6] and can be realized by
other methods such as Bott-Doffin's [6] one. Fig. 5 shows
the voltages at input and output ports of the lossless circuit versus frequency obtained by HSPICE simulator,
assuming Vs=1.0 V and applying a frequency scaling kf
=106/2. It is seen that the input voltage is constant and
equal to 0.5Vs which means Zin=Z0 or the input reflection
is zero.

as

Y (s ) 

Example 3: Consider a normalized lowpass bessel filter of
order
n=3,
whose
transfer
function
is
15
and has a group delay equal to
H (s )  3
s  6s 2  15s  15
Tg = 1 sec. . The normalized admittances are obtained
from
the
proposed
methodology
as
3
2
1 18s 2  108s  225 and
1 15s  72s  117s .
Y (s ) 
Y c (s ) 
15 s 3  6s 2  15s  15
15 s 3  6s 2  15s  15

0.667 F
1.5 H

2F

0.5 H
1.33 F

1

0.75 H

a
b
Fig. 2 Realized circuits for Example 1, assuming Z0=1 . a) Lossless
circuit b) Lossy circuit.

4 EXAMPLES AND RESULTS
To validate the aforementioned methodology and its design formulas, four examples are given.
Example 1: Consider a normalized lowpass butterworth
filter of order n=3, whose transfer function is

H (s ) 

1
3

2

. The normalized admittances

s  2s  2s  1

are obtained from the proposed methodology as

Y (s ) 

3
2
1 2s 2  4s  3
and Y c (s )  1 3s  4s  2s .
3 s 3  2s 2  2s  1
3 s 3  2s 2  2s  1

Fig. 2 shows the realised circuits for these admittances.
Fig. 3 shows the voltages at input and output ports of the
lossless circuit versus frequency obtained by HSPICE
simulator, assuming Vs=1.0 V and applying a frequency
scaling kf =106/2. It is seen that the input voltage is constant and equal to 0.5Vs which means Zin=Z0 or the input
reflection is zero.
Example 2: Consider a normalized lowpass chebyshev
filter of order n=3, whose transfer function is

Fig. 3 The voltages at input and output ports of the lossless circuit of
Example 1, versus frequency, assuming Vs=1.0 V and kf =106/2.
1.189 F 3.95 H

1.511 H

1.01 H

3.07 H

5.08 H
1.653 

1.335 F

0.338 F

a
b
Fig. 4 Realized circuits for Example 2, assuming Z0=1 . a) Lossless
circuit b) Lossy circuit.

JOURNAL OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS, VOLUME 34, ISSUE 2, OCTOBER 2016
3

5 SOME POINTS

Fig. 5 The voltages at input and output ports of the lossless circuit of
Example 2, versus frequency, assuming Vs=1.0 V and kf =106/2.
0.52 F

0.833 H

0.167 H
0.48 F

1

1.383 H 0.048 F
2.84 

It is worth noting that to realize reflectionless filters with
highpass, and specially bandpass or bandstop transfer
functions, we had better realize a reflectionless filter with
a proper lowpass transfer function, at first, and then use
the well-known filter transformations [5] to change its
elements. This is because the degree of bandpass and
bandstop filters are twice their equivalent lowpass filters.
Furthermore, it is provable that the complementary
circuit for filters of butterworth transfer uitfunction, H(s),
is exactly a lossless filter terminated to Z0 of butterworth
transfer function 1-H(s). This property can be verified in
example 1. This property is useful for designing high frequency microstrip bandpass filters [4], whose complementary circuit will be a bandstop filter.

4.59 

a
b
Fig. 6 Realized circuits for Example 3, assuming Z0=1 . a) Lossless
circuit b) Lossy circuit.

1H

1F

1H
1F
1

a
b
Fig. 8 Realized circuits for Example 4, assuming Z0=1 . a) Lossless circuit b) Lossy circuit.

6 CONCLUSION

Fig. 7 The group delay and voltages at input and output ports of the
lossless circuit of Example 3, versus frequency, assuming Vs=1.0 V
and kT =250  10-9.

A configuration is introduced as a reflectionless filter
which could have an arbitrary transfer function while it is
matched in all frequencies. A methodology and some rigorous formulas are obtained to design two complementary circuits of the proposed reflectionless filters. Some
examples are instanced to verify the efficiency of the introduced idea to make reflectionless filters. It was seen
that any transfer function whose magnitude is less than
one at all frequencies is realizable as a reflectionless filter.

REFERENCES
Fig. 6 shows the realised circuits for these admittances.
Fig. 7 shows the group delay as well as the voltages at
input and output ports of the lossless circuit versus frequency obtained by HSPICE simulator, assuming Vs=1.0
V and applying a time scaling kT =250  10-9 or equivalently Tg = 250 nsec. . It is seen that the input voltage is constant and equal to 0.5Vs (the small existing variation is
related to finite precision of the elements values) which
means Zin=Z0 or the input reflection is zero.
Example 4: Consider a very simple bandpass filter of des
gree 2, whose transfer function is H (s ) 
. The
2
s  s 1
normalized admittances are obtained from the proposed
2
s
methodology as Y (s ) 
and Y c (s )  s  1 .
s 2  s 1
s 2  s 1
Fig. 8 shows the realised circuits for these admittances.
This bandpass filter could be realized if the lowpass filter
with transfer function of degree 1, H (s )  1 , is realized
s 1
at first and then the transformation s  (s 2  1) / s is used.

[1]
[2]

[3]

[4]

[5]
[6]

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M. Morgan and T. Boyd, "Theoretical and experimental study
of a new class of reflectionless filter," IEEE Trans. Microwave
Theory Tech., vol. 59, no. 5, pp. 1214-1221, May 2011.
M. Morgan and T. Boyd, “Reflectionless Filter Structures,” IEEE
Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques, vol. 63, no. 4,
pp. 1263-1271, April 2015.
G. Matthaei, L. Young, and E. Jones, Microwave Filters, Impedance Matching Networks, and Coupling Structures. Norwood, MA:
Artech House, 1980.
Harry Y-F. Lam, “Analog and digital filters: design and realization”,
Prentice-Hall Inc., 1979.
M. E. V. Valkenburg, “Introduction to modern network synthesis”,
John Wiley & Sons, 1967.

M. Khalaj-Amirhosseini was born in Tehran, Iran in 1969. He received his B.Sc., M.Sc and Ph.D. degrees from Iran University of
Science and Technology (IUST) in 1992, 1994 and 1998 respectively, all in Electrical Engineering. He is currently a Full Professor at
College of Electrical Engineering of IUST. His scientific fields of interest are electromagnetic, microwaves and antennas.
A. Khalaj-Amirhosseini was born in Tehran, Iran in 1995. She is
currently is studying to get B.Sc. Degree from Iran University of Science and Technology (IUST) in Electrical Engineering.