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15/03/2019 Planar transmission line - Wikipedia

Suspended microstrip has the same aim as suspended stripline; to put the field into air rather than the dielectric to reduce losses
and dispersion. The reduced permittivity results in larger printed components, which limits miniaturisation, but makes the
components easier to manufacture. Suspending the substrate increases the maximum frequency at which the type can be used.[35]

Inverted microstrip has similar properties to suspended microstrip with the additional benefit that most of the field is contained in
the air between the conductor and the groundplane. There is very little stray field above the substrate available to link to other
components. Trapped inverted microstrip shields the line on three sides preventing some higher order modes that are possible with
the more open structures. Placing the line in a shielded box completely avoids any stray coupling but the substrate must now be cut
to fit the box. Fabricating a complete device on one large substrate is not possible using this structure.[36]

Coplanar waveguide and coplanar strips


Coplanar waveguide (CPW) has the return conductors on top of the substrate in the
same plane as the main line, unlike stripline and microstrip where the return
conductors are ground planes above or below the substrate. The return conductors are
placed either side of the main line and made wide enough that they can be considered to
Coplanar waveguide
extend to infinity. Like microstrip, CPW has quasi-TEM propagation.[37]

CPW is simpler to manufacture; there is only one plane of metallization and


components can be surface mounted whether they are connected in series (spanning a break in the line) or shunt (between the line
and the ground). Shunt components in stripline and microstrip require a connection through to the bottom of the substrate. CPW
is also easier to miniaturise; its characteristic impedance depends on the ratio of the line width to the distance between return
conductors rather than the absolute value of line width.[38]

Despite its advantages, CPW has not proved popular. A disadvantage is that return conductors take up a large amount of board
area that cannot be used for mounting components, though it is possible in some designs to achieve a greater density of
components than microstrip. More seriously, there is a second mode in CPW that has zero frequency cutoff called the slotline
mode. Since this mode cannot be avoided by operating below it, and multiple modes are undesirable, it needs to be suppressed. It is
an odd mode, meaning that the electric potentials on the two return conductors are equal and opposite. Thus, it can be suppressed
by bonding the two return conductors together. This can be achieved with a bottom ground plane (conductor-backed coplanar
waveguide, CBCPW) and periodic plated through holes, or periodic air bridges on the top of the board. Both these solutions detract
from the basic simplicity of CPW.[39]

Coplanar variants

CPW variants: A, standard,[40] B, CBCPW,[41] C, coplanar strips,[27] D, embedded coplanar strips[34]

Coplanar strips (also coplanar stripline[42] or differential line[34]) are usually used only for RF applications below the microwave
band. The lack of a ground plane leads to a poorly defined field pattern and the losses from stray fields are too great at microwave
frequencies. On the other hand, the lack of ground planes means that the type is amenable to embedding in multi-layer
structures.[43]

Slotline
A slotline is a slot cut in the metallisation on top of the substrate. It is the dual of
microstrip, a dielectric line surrounded by conductor instead of a conducting line
surrounded by dielectric.[44] The dominant propagation mode is hybrid, quasi-TE with
a small longitudinal component of electric field.[45]
Slotline

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