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CHAPTER 4
MICROSTRIP PATCH ANTENNA DESIGN AND RESULTS
In this chapter, the procedure for designing a rectangular microstrip patch antenna is
explained. Next, a compact rectangular microstrip patch antenna is designed for use in cellular
phones. Finally, the results obtained from the simulations are demonstrated.
4.1 Design Specifications
The three essential parameters for the design of a rectangular Microstrip Patch Antenna
are:
• Frequency of operation (
o
f ): The resonant frequency of the antenna must be selected
appropriately. The Personal Communication System (PCS) uses the frequency range
from 18501990 MHz. Hence the antenna designed must be able to operate in this
frequency range. The resonant frequency selected for my design is 1.9 GHz.
• Dielectric constant of the substrate (
r
ε ): The dielectric material selected for my design is
Silicon which has a dielectric constant of 11.9. A substrate with a high dielectric constant
has been selected since it reduces the dimensions of the antenna.
• Height of dielectric substrate ( h ): For the microstrip patch antenna to be used in cellular
phones, it is essential that the antenna is not bulky. Hence, the height of the dielectric
substrate is selected as 1.5 mm.
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Hence, the essential parameters for the design are:
•
o
f = 1.9 GHz
•
r
ε = 11.9
• h = 1.5 mm
4.2 Design Procedure
Figure 4.1 Top view of Microstrip Patch Antenna
The transmission line model described in chapter 3 will be used to design the antenna.
Step 1: Calculation of the Width (W ): The width of the Microstrip patch antenna is given by
equation (3.6) as:
( )
2
1
2
+
=
r
o
f
c
W
ε
(4.1)
g
L
L
W
) , (
f f
Y X
g
W
Feed
Point
Patch
Ground
Plane
50
Substituting c = 3e8 m/s,
r
ε = 11.9 and
o
f = 1.9 GHz, we get:
W = 0.0311 m = 31.1 mm
Step 2: Calculation of Effective dielectric constant (
reff
ε ): Equation (3.1) gives the effective
dielectric constant as:
2
1
12 1
2
1
2
1
−
+
−
+
+
=
W
h
r r
reff
ε ε
ε (4.2)
Substituting
r
ε = 11.9, W = 31.1 mm and h = 1.5 mm we get:
reff
ε = 10.7871
Step 3: Calculation of the Effective length (
eff
L ): Equation (3.4) gives the effective length as:
reff o
eff
f
c
L
ε 2
= (4.3)
Substituting
reff
ε = 10.7871, c = 3e8 m/s and
o
f = 1.9 GHz we get:
eff
L = 0.024 m = 24 mm
Step 4: Calculation of the length extension ( L ∆ ): Equation (3.2) gives the length extension
as:
( )
( )

.

\

+ −

.

\

+ +
= ∆
8 . 0 258 . 0
264 . 0 3 . 0
412 . 0
h
W
h
W
h L
reff
reff
ε
ε
(4.4)
Substituting
reff
ε = 10.7871, W = 31.1 mm and h = 1.5 mm we get:
51
L ∆ = 6.3455 e4 mm
Step 5: Calculation of actual length of patch ( L ): The actual length is obtained by rewriting
equation (3.3) as:
L L L
eff
∆ − = 2 (4.5)
Substituting
eff
L = 24 mm and L ∆ = 6.3455 e4 mm we get:
L = 0.0228 m = 22.8 mm
Step 6: Calculation of the ground plane dimensions (
g
L and
g
W ):
The transmission line model is applicable to infinite ground planes only. However, for
practical considerations, it is essential to have a finite ground plane. It has been shown by [9] that
similar results for finite and infinite ground plane can be obtained if the size of the ground plane
is greater than the patch dimensions by approximately six times the substrate thickness all around
the periphery. Hence, for this design, the ground plane dimensions would be given as:
mm L h L
g
8 . 31 8 . 22 ) 5 . 1 ( 6 6 = + = + =
mm W h W
g
1 . 40 1 . 31 ) 5 . 1 ( 6 6 = + = + =
Step 7: Determination of feed point location (
f f
Y X , ):
A coaxial probe type feed is to be used in this design. As shown in Figure 4.1, the center
of the patch is taken as the origin and the feed point location is given by the coordinates
(
f f
Y X , ) from the origin. The feed point must be located at that point on the patch, where the
input impedance is 50 ohms for the resonant frequency. Hence, a trial and error method is used
to locate the feed point. For different locations of the feed point, the return loss (R.L) is
compared and that feed point is selected where the R.L is most negative. According to [5] there
exists a point along the length of the patch where the R.L is minimum. Hence in this design,
f
Y
will be zero and only
f
X will be varied to locate the optimum feed point.
52
4.3 Simulation Setup and Results
The software used to model and simulate the microstrip patch antenna is Zeland Inc’s
IE3D software. IE3D is a fullwave electromagnetic simulator based on the method of moments.
It analyzes 3D and multilayer structures of general shapes. It has been widely used in the design
of MICs, RFICs, patch antennas, wire antennas, and other RF/wireless antennas. It can be used to
calculate and plot the
11
S parameters, VSWR, current distributions as well as the radiation
patterns. An evaluation version of the software was used to obtain the results for this thesis.
For simplicity, the length and the width of the patch and the ground plane have been
rounded off to the following values: L = 22 mm, W = 31 mm,
g
L = 31 mm,
g
W = 40 mm.
4.3.1 Return Loss and Antenna bandwidth calculation
Figure 4.2 Microstrip patch antenna designed using IE3D
The results tabulated below are obtained after varying the feed location along the length
of the patch from the origin (center of patch) to its right most edge. The coaxial probe feed used
53
is designed to have a radius of 0.5mm. A frequency range of 1.72.1 GHz is selected and 401
frequency points are selected over this range to obtain accurate results. Table 4.1 shows the
calculated results for different feed locations.
Table 4.1 Effect of feed location on center frequency, return loss and bandwidth
No.
Feed Location
(
f f
Y X , )
(mm)
Center Frequency
(GHz)
Return Loss (RL)
(dB)
Bandwidth
(RL > 9.5dB)
(MHz)
1 (1,0) 1.9153 1.1384 
2 (2,0) 1.9147 4.5967 
3 (3,0) 1.9127 10.9602 9.97
4 (3.25,0) 1.9133 13.3696 15.32
5 (3.5,0) 1.9127 16.6242 18.84
6 (3.75,0) 1.9127 21.2769 21.43
7 (4,0) 1.9120 31.3585 23.28
8 (4.25,0) 1.9127 28.5068 24.40
9 (4.5,0) 1.9127 21.2952 25.16
10 (4.75,0) 1.9120 17.6845 25.23
11 (5,0) 1.9120 15.0623 24.30
12 (6,0) 1.9087 10.2221 13.57
13 (7,0) 1.9087 7.7754 
14 (8,0) 1.9087 6.3367 
15 (9,0) 1.9073 5.5806 
16 (10,0) 1.9073 5.0228 
54
Figure 4.3 below shows the return loss plots for some of the feed point locations.
Figure 4.3 Return loss for feed located at different locations
The center frequency is selected as the one at which the return loss is minimum. As
described in chapter 2, the bandwidth can be calculated from the return loss (RL) plot. The
bandwidth of the antenna can be said to be those range of frequencies over which the RL is
greater than 9.5 dB (9.5 dB corresponds to a VSWR of 2 which is an acceptable figure). From
table 4.1, the optimum feed point is found to be at (
f f
Y X , ) = (4, 0) where a RL of 31.3585 dB
is obtained. The bandwidth of the antenna for this feed point location is calculated (as shown
below in Figure 4.4) to be 23.28 MHz and a center frequency of 1.9120 GHz is obtained which is
very close to the desired design frequency of 1.9 GHz. It is observed from the table that, as the
feed point location is moved away from the center of the patch, the center frequency starts to
55
decrease slightly. It is also seen that though the maximum return loss is obtained at (
f f
Y X , ) =
(4, 0), the maximum bandwidth is obtained at (
f f
Y X , ) = (4.75, 0).
Figure 4.4 Return loss for feed located at (4, 0)
4.3.2 Radiation Pattern plots
Since a microstrip patch antenna radiates normal to its patch surface, the elevation pattern
for φ = 0 and φ = 90 degrees would be important. Figure 4.5 below shows the gain of the
antenna at 1.9120 GHz for φ = 0 and φ = 90 degrees.
56
Figure 4.5 Elevation Pattern for φ = 0 and φ = 90 degrees
The maximum gain is obtained in the broadside direction and this is measured to be 1.87
dBi for both, φ = 0 and φ = 90 degrees. The backlobe radiation is sufficiently small and is
measured to be 5.3 dBi for the above plot. This low backlobe radiation is an added advantage
for using this antenna in a cellular phone, since it reduces the amount of electromagnetic
radiation which travels towards the users head. The 3D plots for the antenna are shown in Figure
4.6 at different angles, so that it is easier to understand the radiation from the antenna.
57
(a) (b)
Figure 4.6 (a) 3D view of radiation pattern looking along the Y axis in the XZ plane
(b) 3D view of radiation pattern looking along the Z axis in the XY plane
When the microstrip patch antenna designed would be placed into a cellular phone, its
orientation would be such that the z axis would be parallel to the surface of the earth. Figure 4.7
shows the 3D radiation pattern plots for this scenario.
(a) (b)
Figure 4.7 (a) 3D view of radiation pattern for cellular phone orientation in the YZ plane
(b) 3D view of radiation pattern for cellular phone orientation in the XZ plane
Cellular phone
58
4.3.3 Other calculated parameters
Some of the other calculated parameters, such as the gain, directivity, antenna efficiency
and 3 dB beamwidth for the antenna at 1.912 GHz are given below.
• Gain = 1.8717 dBi
• Directivity = 5.56 dBi
• Antenna Efficiency = 42.77%
• 3 dB Beamwidth = (106.85, 110.24) degrees
1) 49 . Step 1: Calculation of the Width ( W ): The width of the Microstrip patch antenna is given by equation (3.9 h = 1.9 GHz ε r = 11.6) as: c W = 2 fo (ε r + 1) 2 (4. the essential parameters for the design are: • • • f o = 1.Yf ) Feed Point Wg W Patch L Lg Ground Plane Figure 4.5 mm 4.Hence.1 Top view of Microstrip Patch Antenna The transmission line model described in chapter 3 will be used to design the antenna.2 Design Procedure (X f .
9.7871.4) gives the effective length as: Leff = c 2 f o ε reff (4.2) gives the length extension as: (ε ∆L = 0.2) Substituting ε r = 11.7871 Step 3: Calculation of the Effective length ( Leff ): Equation (3. c = 3e8 m/s and f o = 1.Substituting c = 3e8 m/s.1 mm and h = 1.3) + 0.9 GHz we get: Leff = 0.1 mm Step 2: Calculation of Effective dielectric constant ( ε reff ): Equation (3.5 mm we get: 50 .1 mm and h = 1.3) Substituting ε reff = 10.5 mm we get: ε reff = 10. W = 31.9 GHz.0311 m = 31.8 h (4.264 h W − 0.4) Substituting ε reff = 10.258) + 0.7871.412h reff (ε reff W + 0.024 m = 24 mm Step 4: Calculation of the length extension ( ∆L ): Equation (3. ε r = 11. W = 31.9 and f o = 1.1) gives the effective dielectric constant as: 1 2 ε reff = ε r +1 ε r −1 2 + 2 h 1 + 12 W − (4. we get: W = 0.
8 mm Step 6: Calculation of the ground plane dimensions ( L g and W g ): (4. Hence. for this design. a trial and error method is used to locate the feed point. the ground plane dimensions would be given as: L g = 6h + L = 6(1. it is essential to have a finite ground plane. It has been shown by [9] that similar results for finite and infinite ground plane can be obtained if the size of the ground plane is greater than the patch dimensions by approximately six times the substrate thickness all around the periphery.1 = 40.8 = 31. The feed point must be located at that point on the patch.L is minimum.3) as: L = Leff − 2∆L Substituting Leff = 24 mm and ∆L = 6. Y f will be zero and only X f will be varied to locate the optimum feed point. Hence in this design. According to [5] there exists a point along the length of the patch where the R. the return loss (R.3455 e4 mm Step 5: Calculation of actual length of patch ( L ): The actual length is obtained by rewriting equation (3. where the input impedance is 50 ohms for the resonant frequency. However.8mm W g = 6h + W = 6(1. the center of the patch is taken as the origin and the feed point location is given by the coordinates ( X f .L is most negative. Y f ): A coaxial probe type feed is to be used in this design.5) + 31.5) The transmission line model is applicable to infinite ground planes only.∆L = 6. As shown in Figure 4.1mm Step 7: Determination of feed point location ( X f . Hence.L) is compared and that feed point is selected where the R.3455 e4 mm we get: L = 0.0228 m = 22. For different locations of the feed point. for practical considerations.1.5) + 22. Y f ) from the origin. 51 .
RFICs. IE3D is a fullwave electromagnetic simulator based on the method of moments. patch antennas.1 Return Loss and Antenna bandwidth calculation Figure 4. W g = 40 mm.4. It has been widely used in the design of MICs. L g = 31 mm. W = 31 mm. VSWR. The coaxial probe feed used 52 . wire antennas. and other RF/wireless antennas. It can be used to calculate and plot the S11 parameters.2 Microstrip patch antenna designed using IE3D The results tabulated below are obtained after varying the feed location along the length of the patch from the origin (center of patch) to its right most edge. An evaluation version of the software was used to obtain the results for this thesis. current distributions as well as the radiation patterns.3 Simulation Setup and Results The software used to model and simulate the microstrip patch antenna is Zeland Inc’s IE3D software.3. It analyzes 3D and multilayer structures of general shapes. 4. For simplicity. the length and the width of the patch and the ground plane have been rounded off to the following values: L = 22 mm.
9120 1.43 23.72.3696 16.1384 4. Table 4.9073 1.0) (5.84 21.0) (3.28 24.9127 1.9127 1.9120 1.0) (8.9087 1.1 shows the calculated results for different feed locations.23 24.0) (3.25.1 Effect of feed location on center frequency.6845 15.5dB) (MHz) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 (1.75.3367 5.0) (9.7754 6.5967 10.0) 1.75.0) (4.0) (2.9087 1.2769 31.9073 1.2221 7.9127 1.9127 1.40 25.0) (4.25.16 25. Table 4.0623 10.9153 1.9120 1.30 13.9087 1.0) (6.0) (7.0228 9.5. return loss and bandwidth Center Frequency Return Loss (RL) Bandwidth Feed Location No.32 18.0) (3.0) (4.9127 1.is designed to have a radius of 0.Y f ) (mm) (GHz) (dB) (RL > 9.0) (10.5068 21.9602 13.57  53 .9147 1.0) (4.6242 21.97 15. A frequency range of 1.0) (3.3585 28.9133 1. ( X f .5806 5.1 GHz is selected and 401 frequency points are selected over this range to obtain accurate results.5.2952 17.5mm.
The bandwidth of the antenna for this feed point location is calculated (as shown below in Figure 4. the center frequency starts to 54 .28 MHz and a center frequency of 1.3585 dB is obtained. Y f ) = (4.9 GHz. As described in chapter 2. From table 4.5 dB (9. The bandwidth of the antenna can be said to be those range of frequencies over which the RL is greater than 9.5 dB corresponds to a VSWR of 2 which is an acceptable figure). 0) where a RL of 31.4) to be 23.Figure 4. It is observed from the table that. as the feed point location is moved away from the center of the patch. the bandwidth can be calculated from the return loss (RL) plot.3 below shows the return loss plots for some of the feed point locations. Figure 4. the optimum feed point is found to be at ( X f .3 Return loss for feed located at different locations The center frequency is selected as the one at which the return loss is minimum.9120 GHz is obtained which is very close to the desired design frequency of 1.1.
75. Y f ) = (4. 0). 55 .5 below shows the gain of the antenna at 1. Y f ) = (4. Figure 4. 0).3. 0) 4. Figure 4. It is also seen that though the maximum return loss is obtained at ( X f . the elevation pattern for φ = 0 and φ = 90 degrees would be important.2 Radiation Pattern plots Since a microstrip patch antenna radiates normal to its patch surface.4 Return loss for feed located at (4.9120 GHz for φ = 0 and φ = 90 degrees.decrease slightly. the maximum bandwidth is obtained at ( X f .
The backlobe radiation is sufficiently small and is measured to be 5. φ = 0 and φ = 90 degrees.6 at different angles. so that it is easier to understand the radiation from the antenna. 56 . since it reduces the amount of electromagnetic radiation which travels towards the users head.5 Elevation Pattern for φ = 0 and φ = 90 degrees The maximum gain is obtained in the broadside direction and this is measured to be 1. The 3D plots for the antenna are shown in Figure 4.87 dBi for both.3 dBi for the above plot. This low backlobe radiation is an added advantage for using this antenna in a cellular phone.Figure 4.
(a) (b) Figure 4. Cellular phone (a) (b) Figure 4.7 (a) 3D view of radiation pattern for cellular phone orientation in the YZ plane (b) 3D view of radiation pattern for cellular phone orientation in the XZ plane 57 . its orientation would be such that the z axis would be parallel to the surface of the earth. Figure 4.7 shows the 3D radiation pattern plots for this scenario.6 (a) 3D view of radiation pattern looking along the Y axis in the XZ plane (b) 3D view of radiation pattern looking along the Z axis in the XY plane When the microstrip patch antenna designed would be placed into a cellular phone.
77% 3 dB Beamwidth = (106. such as the gain.3.24) degrees 58 .85.8717 dBi Directivity = 5.56 dBi Antenna Efficiency = 42. 110.4. antenna efficiency and 3 dB beamwidth for the antenna at 1. • • • • Gain = 1.912 GHz are given below. directivity.3 Other calculated parameters Some of the other calculated parameters.