You are on page 1of 1

15/03/2019 Planar transmission line - Wikipedia

The electrical properties of the substrate of most interest are the relative permittivity (εr) and the loss tangent (δ). The relative
permittivity determines the characteristic impedance of a given line width and the group velocity of signals travelling on it. High
permittivity results in smaller printed components, aiding miniaturisation. In quasi-TEM types, permittivity determines how much
of the field will be contained within the substrate and how much is in the air above it. The loss tangent is a measure of the dielectric
losses. It is desirable to have this as small as possible, especially in circuits which require high Q.[22]

Mechanical properties of interest include the thickness and mechanical strength required of the substrate. In some types, such as
suspended stripline and finline, it is advantageous to make the substrate as thin as possible. Delicate semiconductor components
mounted on a flexing substrate can become damaged. A hard, rigid material such as quartz might be chosen as the substrate to
avoid this problem, rather than an easier-to-machine board. In other types, such as homogeneous stripline, it can be much thicker.
For printed antennae, that are conformal to the device shape, flexible, hence very thin, substrates are required. The thickness
required for electrical performance depends on the permittivity of the material. Surface finish is an issue; some roughness may be
required to ensure adhesion of the metallisation, but too much causes conductor losses (as the consequent roughness of the
metallization becomes significant compared with the skin depth). Thermal properties can be important. Thermal expansion
changes the electrical properties of lines and can break plated through holes.[23]

Properties of common substrate

Substrate εr δ
Silicon 11.9 0.015
Gallium arsenide 12.9 0.002
FR-4 4.3 0.022
6010 10.2 0.002
Alumina 9.8 0.0001
Sapphire 9.4 0.0001
Quartz 3.8 0.0001


Stripline is a strip conductor embedded in a dielectric between two ground planes. It is
usually constructed as two sheets of dielectric clamped together with the stripline
pattern on one side of one sheet. The main advantage of stripline over its principal rival,
microstrip, is that transmission is purely in the TEM mode and is free of dispersion, at
least over the distances encountered in stripline applications. Stripline is capable of
supporting TE and TM modes but these are not generally used. The main disadvantage Stripline
is that it is not as easy as microstrip to incorporate discrete components. For any that
are incorporated, cutouts have to be provided in the dielectric and they are not
accessible once assembled.[24]

Suspended stripline
Suspended stripline is a type of air stripline in which the substrate is suspended
between the ground planes with an air gap above and below. The idea is to minimise
dielectric losses by having the wave travel through air. The purpose of the dielectric is
only for mechanical support of the conductor strip. Since the wave is travelling through
Suspended stripline
the mixed media of air and dielectric, the transmission mode is not truly TEM, but a
thin dielectric renders this effect negligible. Suspended stripline is used in the mid
microwave frequencies where it is superior to microstrip with respect to losses, but not as bulky or expensive as waveguide.[25]

Other stripline variants 5/15