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5, MAY 2003 1011

Perturbed Sierpinski Multiband Fractal Antenna With

Improved Feeding Technique
C. T. P. Song, Member, IEEE, Peter S. Hall, Fellow, IEEE, and H. Ghafouri-Shiraz, Senior Member, IEEE

Abstract—This paper describes the multiband behavior of a imately 0.3 [5], instead of an expected 0.5. Furthermore, the
series of perturbed fractal Sierpinski gasket antennas. Sierpinski input impedance match for the first operating band is poor. This
gaskets, with periodic ratios of 0.5, 0.65, and 0.75 were fabricated results in a larger antenna system if the second band is to be em-
and tested. Two methods are presented that improve the inher-
ently poor input impedance match of the antenna with a 50
port. Theoretical simulation is used to give an insight into the Changing the scale factor from 0.5 to produce the so called
field distribution of the antenna as the perturbing ratio varies. perturbed Sierpinski gasket can allow control of the band
Different properties and merits of the antenna due to perturbation spacing [9]. However control is limited due to the worsening
were noted. These improved feeding methods will allow further of the input matching. A perturbed Sierpinski gasket with dual
flexibility to the application of these multiband antennas.
scaling factor was also recently presented [15]. Changing the
Index Terms—Fractal antennas, multiband antennas. apex angle [10] has also been investigated. It was shown that
log periodic properties were compromised when the flare angle
I. INTRODUCTION is reduced. The antenna performs like a classical monopole
antenna where periodic harmonics occur.

T HERE HAVE been extensive studies on the use of fractal

bodies [1]–[5] in electromagnetics in recent years. In
particular, the multifrequency properties of fractal elements,
Section II will demonstrate the band allocation technique of
the antenna with a scale factor ratio of 0.5, 0.65, and 0.75.
With the antenna element mounted in a conventional monopole
such as the Sierpinski gasket monopole, have been credited method over a metallic ground plane, we will illustrate the dif-
for their log-periodic behavior in a single antenna element ficulties in matching to these antennas with a 50 feed. Sec-
[5]–[7]. Fractal structure are characterized by a series of built-in tion III will illustrate a feed technique that can be used to over-
self-similarities in which an object, the motif, is being repeated come this problem. This feed technique also plays an important
on an ever-diminishing scale. This implies that a given fractal role in tuning the operating frequency ratio between the first
geometry is made up of a series of differently scaled smaller and second resonance band . In Section IV, an angular
objects that have the same shape as the final structure. Such feeding technique is proposed which consist of a feed monopole
a property suggests that these geometries are not only self in series with the antenna. A similar triangular monopole will be
scaleable, but form a category of linear fractal structures [8]. compared with the Sierpinski gasket monopole antenna.
One such classical linear fractal structure is the Sierpinski
gasket which consists of a series of scaled triangles having a
scale factor of 0.5. In the progression of its fractal iteration, II. PERTURBED SIERPINSKI GASKET MONOPOLE ON LARGE
each ascending iteration retains some structural properties of the GROUND PLANE
previous one. Its electrical properties translate into a log-peri- A. Antenna Description
odic allocation of frequency bands where these multiple bands
The construction of the Sierpinski gasket and application as a
each have a common behavior. This is manifest in the radia-
multiband antenna element can be referenced in [8] and [5]–[7]
tion patterns observed, as all resonating bands have similar field
respectively. The classical Sierpinski gasket has a scale factor,
plots. Due to the migration from the prescribed log-periodic
of 0.5 where
behavior of the fundamental resonance, the ratio between this
first band and the subsequent second band is approx-
Manuscript received May 22, 2001; revised June 27, 2002. This work was
supported by the British Telecom Advanced Communications Technology and represents the iteration number, represents the height
Center, U.K. of the iterated gasket. The gaskets shown in Fig. 1 have been
C. T. P. Song was with the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering,
University of Birmingham B15 2TT, U.K. He is now with the Hong Kong Ap- constructed through a four iteration process. In addition, four
plied Science and Technology Research Institute Company Limited, Kowloon, small triangles in the top row resulting from the fourth iteration
Hong Kong (e-mail: were not removed, as they are very small and were found not
P. S. Hall is with the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Uni-
versity of Birmingham, B15 2TT, U.K. to contribute to the antenna performance. The gasket shown in
H. Ghafouri-Shiraz was with the School of Electrical and Electronic En- Fig. 1(a) is an unperturbed Sierpinski gasket ( 0.5). Fig. 1(b)
gineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He is now with the and 1(c) shows the gasket with a perturbed of 0.65 and 0.75,
School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, University of Birmingham,
B15 2TT, U.K. respectively. The antennas are printed on an FR4 substrate
Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/TAP.2003.811522 ( 4.4) with thickness of 0.5 and fed at the apex with a
0018-926X/03$17.00 © 2003 IEEE

Fig. 1. Ratio of the perturbed fractal Sierpinski gasket antenna.

Fig. 3. Microstrip feed perturbed fractal Sierpinski gasket.

Fig. 2. Measured input reflection coefficient of the antennas shown in Fig. 1.

50 SMA connector through the underside of a 15 by 15

ground plane. This ground resides on the XY plane.

B. Measured Performance
The return loss of the antennas was measured with an
HP8720C network analyzer. Fig. 2 shows that each band of the
antenna is spaced apart by a factor that is inverse of its scale
factor, . The frequencies are matched at approximately Fig. 4. Measured and simulated input return loss for the microstrip feed
perturbed Sierpinski gaskets shown in Fig. 1.
where viates from the frequency spacing allocate by . With reference
to the bow-tie antenna, this resonance is lower. Impedance
characteristics are similar in terms of poor first band match but
and better subsequent ones [7], [11].
It has been established that optimum performance cannot be
achieved by feeding the perturbed Sierpinski gasket over a large
where is the speed of light in vacuum, is the height of the ground plane. A ground plane that is planar with the antenna
antenna and represents the iteration number. (ZY plane) was introduced, as shown in Fig. 3. This results in
The input reflection coefficient measurement also demon- modification of electrical properties from a monopole like struc-
strates that, as approaches 0.75, the matching characteristics ture to a dipole like structure. Firstly, one could assume that the
of the antenna begin to deteriorate, due primarily to very low low resistance of the monopole is increased and therefore gives a
resonant resistance. A similar poor matching characteristic was better matching characteristic. Secondly, the resonant frequency
also reported in [9], where the reflection coefficients were renor- of the first band with respect to the second band should also be
malized to 150 . This was reported to match much closer to the tunable by modification of the ground dimension. This modifi-
anti-resonant input impedance of the perturbed antenna. cation should not affect subsequent bands as the ground is still
much larger in comparison to the higher resonance gaskets. The
III. MICROSTRIP FEED TECHNIQUE 50 SMA connector is attached to one end of the ground plane
with its feeder attached to the 50 microstrip line. This ground
A. Single Scale Factor Ratio Sierpinski Gasket Antenna and plane is set at a fix length and width of 50 and
Feed Description 100 respectively for comparison of the different scale factor
Poor matching characteristics of the perturbed Sierpinski ratio Sierpinski gaskets. The strip line is printed on similar ma-
gasket antenna has been demonstrated. The first band also de- terial as the antenna.

Fig. 5. Simulated E -field distribution of the perturbed Sierpinski gasket antenna with scale factor ratio ( ) of 0.75, 0.65, and 0.5, mounted on the microstrip
feed line.

priate resonate dimensions were excited at the respective bands.

For instance with 0.75, it can be seen that the high field
intensity surrounding the gasket gradually decreases in size as
the frequency increases. However in the fourth band, the field
distribution shows some periodic action, especially for of 0.5.
This suggests that currents may have formed standing waves, re-
sulting in multiple radiating sources and degrades the antenna’s
radiation patterns.
For brevity, only the radiation pattern for the antenna with
0.75 is shown in Fig. 7. In general, frequency invariant radi-
ation patterns are shown. As the operating frequency increases,
Fig. 6. Ratio between operating frequency bands versus scale factor. (——— back lobe radiation along the ZX plane of the fourth operating
Experimental; - - - - Simulation). band also increases. This is because as the wavelength becomes
smaller, the microstrip feed ground plane begins to look much
B. Input Return Loss larger. This results in a structurally and electrically unbalanced
The input return loss performance of the antennas with of dipole-like configuration. However, of course the ground plane
0.5, 0.65, and 0.75 is presented in this section. The antennas are size is not frequency invariant, will contribute to the alteration of
simulated using a commercial software package, HP HFSS. The the patterns below the zenith. Unlike the omni-directional pat-
measured results are shown in the top graph, and the simulated tern of the first three bands along the XY plane, the patterns at
results are shown in the bottom graph of Fig. 4. the fourth band are distorted largely due to the planar ground
It can be seen that the matching in all bands is substantially in the same plane as the antenna. Experimental results how-
improved, particularly for the first band and for the 0.75 scale ever shows better omni-directional pattern performance than the
factor antenna. Good agreement between measurement and sim- simulations. Higher cross-polar was also predicted. From the
ulation is also noted apart from a 6.6% error in the predicted field distributions obtained from the simulator, several periods
resonant frequencies of the 0.75 scale factor antenna. Fig. 5 of standing waves were observed along the top end of the ground
shows the ratio between adjacent bands. For the ratio of first plane, which it is assumed resulted pattern distortions in the
to second band frequencies only small change is noted and the plane of the ground.
ratio is around 0.3 which is not close to the scale factors of the In comparison to the normal ground feed Sierpinski gasket
respective antennas. It is assumed that this is due to the trun- monopole, this planar configuration is expected to have lower
cation above the first iteration of the log periodic structure. An gain, due to the loss of the antennas’ image in the perpendicular
alternative view is to note that the fields that fringe above the ground plane. The measured gain at midband frequency of each
first iteration top of the antenna and the second are significantly band is shown in Table I.
different. Ratios of higher bands are however close to the scale
factors. D. Effects of Microstrip Feed Ground
The potential benefits of the proposed microstrip feed
C. Field Distribution and Radiation Patterns method with the ground in the same plane as the antenna has
Fig. 6 shows the simulated total E field of the antennas at been demonstrated in the previous section. In this section the
the first 4 resonance. The plot shows in general that the appro- effect of the length and width of the ground are examined.

Fig. 7. Radiation patterns of perturbed Sierpinski gasket ( =0.75) on microstrip ground feed (Co. pol. ——— Cross pol. - - - -).


Fig. 9. Band ratio of Sierpinski gasket antenna on coplanar ground plane

( =0.75, G = 50 mm).

however, is significant. This is expected as it is assumed that

in the first band there is substantial coupling from the gasket
to the edges of the ground plane, whilst at higher frequencies
coupling is confined to the centre.
Fig. 8. Band ratio of Sierpinski gasket antenna on coplanar ground plane
( =0.75, G = 100 mm).
Figs. 8 and 9 show the effect on resonant frequency ratios Bending a monopole toward the ground plane allows some
of the ground plane length and width. In general, frequency control of the matching and also gives some increased pattern
variation with different ground plane size is small. The ratio directivity [12]. Fig. 10 shows a wire monopole which is bend
of the frequencies of band 1 and band 2 with width variation, 5 mm above the ground plane. When , an inverted L

Fig. 10. Transition of wire monopole to an inverted L antenna.

Fig. 12. S of vertical and angular feed antenna of Fig. 11.

of the previous section, the top holes of this gasket are retained.
This gasket has a of 0.775. An equivalent model of the
antenna using the Parany antenna concept was simulated in
HP HFSS. This antenna model is shown in Fig. (11c), where
only the three largest triangular areas remained. A good
agreement of this model with the measured antenna result was
obtained as shown in Fig. 12. To our knowledge, the Parany
monopole antenna was first reported in [5] where the author
has used the antenna to approach the impedance characteristics
of the Sierpinski antenna. However, it should also be noted
that patterns of both antennas are different due to the different
For the vertically mounted antenna, the resonances are ob-
served at 1.17, 3.38, 4.5, and 6 GHz for , , , and , re-
spectively. The angled antenna is matched at 1.1, 3.1, 4.35, and
(b) 5.7 GHz for , , , and , respectively, at an angle of
. The input return loss is shown in Fig. 12. The most signifi-
cant improvements are with the second, third, and fourth bands.
The impedance match of the first band did not improve much
and the separation between the first and second band is about
0.33. A slight increase in the first resonant band was observed
as angle decreases. This is similar to the wire monopole. We
have also experimentally investigated the perturbed version of a
Parany monopole antenna with eight iterations of 0.8. Good
matching characteristics using this angular feed technique was
(c) found.
Fig. 11. Angular feeding configuration for (a) perturbed fractal Sierpinski The measured radiation patterns are shown in Fig. 13. The
gasket with (b) ground plane size = 15 cm 2
15 cm,  = 45 , and (c) patterns are measured in three plane cuts, ZY, ZX, and XY. In the
simulation model using a Parany monopole antenna.
ZX plane, the radiation patterns of the Sierpinski gasket clearly
demonstrate a “fundamental” pattern in compared with the tri-
antenna is obtained. As is reduced from , the antenna angular monopole where distinct multilobe effects are shown.
reactance becomes more capacitive resulting to a slight increase As the antenna is tilted to a angle, one would expect a radi-
in resonance frequency. Additionally input resistance reduces ation minimum at the angle which is in-line with the antenna’s
[13], and Q increases giving a narrower bandwidth. plane. Compared to a conventional feed [7], [9] where this min-
imum could be more than 20 dB below the peak power, the an-
A. Angular Fed on Sierpinski Gasket Monopole gular feed technique was observed to be approximately 10 dB
As mentioned earlier, the perturbed Sierpinski gasket below the peak power. Therefore, with appropriate compensa-
monopole with a higher scale factor ratio has a small input tion, such as a dielectric lens at this position, it is possible to
impedance at resonance. This makes impedance matching at restore the radiation pattern.
the upper bands difficult. Angling the antenna and the effects The radiation pattern minimum of the first band is however
of the extended feed monopole as shown in Fig. 11 improves not at the antenna’s plane. This is due to the fact that the wave-
the input match. Note that unlike the Sierpinski gasket antenna length of this resonance is much longer and is not as sensitive

Fig. 13. Measured radiation pattern of perturbed Sierpinski gasket in comparison to the triangular bow-tie antenna. Antenna configuration shown in Fig. 11. (Co.
pol. ——— Cross pol. - - - -; Ground plane size is 15 x 15 cm,  = 45 )

Two methods of overcoming the matching difficulties of a
perturbed fractal Sierpinski gasket antenna have been addressed.
These techniques enable multiband match to a conventional 50
SMA connector, without matching circuits. A method of re-
ducing the frequency separation between the first and second
band of these triangular antennas has also been proposed. From
to angular variation. Along the ZX and XY plane, a certain de- an expected ratio of 0.35 using conventional feed, this ratio can
gree of directivity was also demonstrated. Compared to with the be improved to 0.5 using microstrip feed technique. In the an-
triangular monopole, the Sierpinski gasket monopole shows a gular feed technique, besides its ability to match to multiband
cleaner and smoother bore sight pattern. In applications that re- through a single SMA connector, its radiation patterns were
quire omni-directional patterns, the conventional monopole is also shaped to enable deployment at a corner of a room. Experi-
usually deployed in the middle of the room. However, if a rather mental and numerical results showed that the multiband behav-
conical like pattern is required, this angular feed technique could iors of these antennas are consistent from input return loss and
provide the alternative solution where deployment can be situ- the radiation patterns observed. It was also noted that although
ated at the corner of the room. The gain of each band is shown the ground plane is not a frequency independent structure, the
in Table II. patterns generated are consistent throughout.

REFERENCES Peter S. Hall (M’88–SM’93–F’01) received the

Ph.D. degree in antenna measurements from
[1] H. N. Kritikos and D. L. Jaggard, Recent Advances in Electromagnetic Sheffield University, Sheffield, U.K. in 1973.
Theory. New York: Springer-Verlag, 1990. He spent three years with Marconi Space and
[2] D. H. Werner and D. H. Werner, “Frequency independent features of Defense Systems, Stanmore, U.K., working on a
self-similar fractal antennas,” Radio Sci., vol. 31, no. 6, pp. 1331–1343, European Communications satellite project. He
Nov.–Dec. 1996. then joined The Royal Military College of Science,
[3] D. H. Werner, P. L. Werner, and A. J. Ferraro, “Frequency independent Swindom, U.K., as a Senior Research Scientist,
features of self-similar fractal antennas,” in Proc IEEE AP-S Int. Symp., progressing to Reader in Electromagnetics. In 1994,
Baltimore, MD, July, 21–26 1996, pp. 2050–2053. he joined The University of Birmingham, where he is
[4] N. Cohen, “Fractal antenna applications in wireless telecommunica- currently Professor of Communications Engineering,
tions,” in Proc. Professional Program Electronics Industry Forum, Head of Department, and Head of the Communications Engineering Research
1997, pp. 43–49. Group in the Department of Electronic Electrical and Computer Engineering.
[5] C. Puente, “Fractal antennas,” Ph.D. dissertation, Dept. Signal Theory He has published four books, over 130 learned papers and received various
Commun., Univ. Politècnica de Catalunya, June 1997. patents. He has researched extensively in the areas of microwave antennas and
[6] C. Puente, J. Romeu, R. Pous, X. Garcia, and F. Benítez, “Fractal multi- associated components and antenna measurements.
band antenna based on the Sierpinski gasket,” IEE Electron. Lett., vol. Prof. Hall is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical Engineers (IEE), London,
32, no. 1, pp. 1–2, Jan. 1996. U.K. He has received six IEE premium awards, including the 1990 IEE Rayleigh
[7] C. Puente, C. Romeu, R. Pous, and A. Cardama, “On the behavior of the Book Award for the Handbook of Microstrip Antennas. He is a past Chairman
Sierpinski multiband fractal antenna,” IEEE Trans. Antennas Propagat., of the IEE Antennas and Propagation Professional Group and is currently a
vol. 46, pp. 517–524, Apr. 1998. Member of the Executive Board of the IEE Professional Network in Antennas
[8] R. M. Crownover, Introduction to Fractals and Chaos. Boston, MA: and Propagation. He Chaired the Organizing Committee of the 1997 IEE In-
Jones & Bartlett, 1995. ternational Conference on Antennas and Propagation and has been associated
[9] C. Puente, J. Romeu, R. Bartolome, and R. Pous, “Perturbation of the with the organization of many other international conferences. He was Honorary
Sierpinski antenna to allocate operating bands,” Electron. Lett., vol. 32, Editor of IEE Proceedings Part H from 1991 to 1995 and is currently on the edi-
pp. 2186–2188, 1996. torial board of the International Journal of RF and Microwave Computer Aided
[10] C. Puente, M. Navarro, J. Romeu, and R. Pous, “Variation on the fractal Engineering and Microwave and Optical Technology Letters.
Sierpinski antenna flare angle,” in Proc. IEEE Int. Symp. Antennas and
Propagation, Atlanta, GA, June 1998, pp. 2340–2343.
[11] G. H. Brown and O. M. Woodward, “Experimentally determined radi- H. Ghafouri-Shiraz (S’85–M’86–SM’88) received
ation characteristics of conical and triangular antennas,” RCA Rev., pp. the B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in electronic and elec-
425–452, Dec. 1952. trical engineering from Shiraz University, Shiraz,
[12] B. D. Popovic, M. B. Dragovic, and A. R. Djordjevic, Analysis and Syn- Iran, in 1973 and 1978, respectively, and the D.Eng.
thesis of Wire Antenna. New York: Wiley, 1982. degree from the University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan,
[13] K. Fujimoto, A. Henderson, K. Hirasawa, and J. R. James, Small An- in 1985.
tennas. New York: Wiley, 1993. From 1973 to 1980, he was an Assistant Professor
[14] C. T. P. Song, P. S. Hall, H. Ghafouri-Shiraz, and D. Wake. Quasilog at the Technical School of Electronics (TSE)
periodic circular ring monopole antenna. presented at Proc. Millenium affiliated with Shiraz University and from 1976 to
Conf. Antennas and Propagation 1980, he was the Head of the TSE Communication
[15] , “Sierpinski monopole antenna with controlled band spacing and Department. From 1980 to 1981, he was the Head of
input impedance,” Electron. Lett., vol. 35, no. 13, pp. 1036–1037, 1999. the Communication and Maintenance Department of Shiraz University. From
April 1981 to March 1985, he was with the Electronics Department at the
University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan, where he researched optical frequency-do-
main reflectrometry. From April 1985 to June 1987, he was a Senior Research
Fellow in the Second Research Laboratory, Optoelectronic Development
Division, Anritsu Corporation, Tokyo, Japan. From July 1987 to September
C. T. P. Song (S’98–M’01) was born in Singapore. 1999, he was a member of the academic staff at the School of Electronic
He received the B.Eng. (First Class Honors) degree and Electrical Engineering, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, U.K.
in electronic and integrated circuit design and His administrative responsibilities at the University of Birmingham were as
the Ph.D. degree both from The University of Director of service courses, Director of the M.Sc. program in communication
Birmingham, Birmingham, U.K., in 1997 and 2001, engineering, and member of Management and Steering Committees and the
respectively. Board of Faculty of Engineering. In March 1999, Napier University, Edinburgh,
He is currently working at the Hong Kong U.K., short listed and subsequently offered him the position of Readership.
Applied Science and Technology Research Institute, From October 1999 to December 2002, he was on leave from the University of
Kowloon, where he assumes responsibility in Birmingham and was a Senior Associate Professor at the School of Electrical
designing a variety of ultrawideband, multiband, and Electronic Engineering at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
and multipolarized phased array antennas for mobile He has published more than 180 papers in refereed journals, a book chapter and
and base station applications. He is also engaged in microwave circuit design four books Fundamentals of Laser Diode Amplifiers (Chichester, U.K.: Wiley,
for the wireless and photonics technology group. His research focused on the 1996), Distributed Feedback Laser Diodes: Principles and Physical Modeling
development of various multiband and broadband antennas for future mobile and (Chichester, U.K.: Wiley, 1996), Principles of semiconductor laser diodes
systems, including fractal antennas and different packaging techniques for and optical amplifiers. (London, U.K.: Imperial College Press, 2003), and
small antennas. He was also involved in designing commercial mobile satellite Distributed Feedback Laser Diodes and Optical Tunable Filters (Chichester,
communication and low power radio transceiver module antennas. He has U.K.: Wiley, 2003). He has supervised many Ph.D. and M.Sc. students as
published numerous learned papers and has several U.S. patents in the filing well as research fellows. His research interests include optical CDMA, optical
process. He was invited to talk on his fractal antenna research at the ESTEC networks, optical devices, optical fiber communications, nonlinear optics, and
Antenna Workshop 2001. He was also involved in designing commercial mobile microwave propagation. In 1994, he served as the Guest Editor for special
satellite communication and low power radio transceiver module antennas. issues in Fiber and Integrated Optics and Microwave and Optical Technology
During his research, he has focused on the development of various multiband Letters.
and broadband antennas for future mobile systems, including fractal antennas Dr. Ghafouri-Shiraz is a chartered engineer and a Member of the Institute
and different packaging techniques for small antennas. of Electrical Engineers (IEE), London, U.K. Professional Group on Opto-elec-
Dr. Song received the Gordon Tucker Bursary Prize by the Faculty of tronics. He received a Japanese government scholarship (Monbusho) from April
Engineering, The University of Birmingham, in 1997, for outstanding project 1981 to March 1985. He is a reviewer for many journals, including IEEE Pro-
achievement, where he developed and published his research on a general ceedings and IEE Proceedings, and several funding bodies, such as the Engi-
purpose analogue CMOS fuzzy logic inference processor. He was awarded a neering and Physical Sciences Research Council in the U.K. He chaired some
full scholarship by the British Telecoms to pursue his Ph.D. study in antenna sessions of the Fourth International Conference on Millimeter Wave and Far In-
design for the passive picocell radio on fiber systems, from 1998 to 2001. He frared Science and Technology in Beijing, China, in 1996 and 1998 and an IEE
is also listed in the International Who’s Who of Professionals. colloquium in 1999.