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**times, leading to much slower adaptation. This problem
**

can be overcome, and the accuracy improved, by using a

carrier suppression ﬁlter before performing the gradient

calculation.

Chen et al. [10] proposed an alternative fast adaptive

algorithm to track the linearizer control parameters, sep-

arating the rapidly varying but known factors (i.e., the

signal statistics) from the slowly varying environmental

factors affecting the power ampliﬁer model, resulting in

swift and accurate convergence.

Echeverr´ia et al. [11] demonstrated that very high lev-

els of intermodulation suppression, over 60dB, could be

achieved by tuning the control loops manually for individ-

ual 10 MHz subbands, over a total bandwidth of 19 MHz

(2.01–2.205 GHz).

4.4. Hybrid Feedforward Ampliﬁers

It is possible to combine feedforward linearization with

other linearization methods for improved overall results.

For example, Horiguchi et al. [12] demonstrated a high-

power 2.12 GHz feedforward power ampliﬁer in which the

overall operating efﬁciency was improved by 1% by the

addition of a simple predistortion linearizer to the input of

the main ampliﬁer.

Another more radical hybrid feedforward ampliﬁer con-

cept has been proposed by Randall et al. [13], in which

part of the ﬁrst loop is replaced by a DSP implementation.

The main and reference signals are both generated by

DSP before upconversion to the carrier frequency. The

second loop would operate conventionally. The advantage

of DSP implementation is that phase and amplitude

equalization of both the main and reference signals can

be carried out and adapted as required in DSP software,

rather than in RF analog components, allowing more ac-

curate cancellation.

4.5. MMIC Integration

Integrating the whole feedforward ampliﬁer onto a single

MMIC is an attractive proposition from the point of view

of miniaturization and repeatability at higher microwave

frequencies or even millimeter-wave frequencies. Achiev-

ing such integration is, however, a major research chal-

lenge, because of the difﬁculty of creating the necessary

high-isolation couplers, low-loss delay lines, and phase

shifters on a MMIC, along with high linearity, high efﬁ-

ciency, and accurately modeled ampliﬁers. Parkinson and

Paul [14] have carried out initial studies of the possibility

of using a distributed ampliﬁer structure as an active cou-

pler within a MMIC feedforward ampliﬁer, as a starting

point for full MMIC integration.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

1. H. S. Black, Translating System, U.S. Patent 1,686,792 (1928).

2. H. Seidel, A microwave feedforward experiment, Bell Syst.

Tech. J. 50:2879–2916 (1971).

3. V. Steel, D. Scott, and S. Ludvik, A 6–18GHz high dynamic

range MMICampliﬁer using a feedforward technique, IEEE

MTT-S Microwave Symp. Digest, 1990, Vol. 2, pp. 911–914.

4. K. Konstantinou and D. K. Paul, Analysis and design of

broadband, high efﬁciency feedforward ampliﬁers, IEEE

MTT-S Microwave Symp. Digest, 1996, Vol. 2, pp. 867–870.

5. F. H. Raab, P. Asbeck, S. Cripps, P. B. Kenington, Z. B. Popo-

vic, N. Pothecary, J. Sevic, and N. O. Sokal, Power ampliﬁers

and transmitters for RFand microwave, IEEE Trans. Micro-

wave Theory Tech. MTT-50(3):814–826 (2002).

6. N. Pothecary, Feedforward Linear Power Ampliﬁers, Artech

House, Norwood, MA, 1999.

7. K. Konstantinou, P. Gardner, and D. K. Paul, Optimisation

method for feedforward linearisation of power ampliﬁers,

Electron. Lett. 29(18):1633–1635 (1993).

8. Y. K. Hau, V. Postoyalko, and J. R. Richardson, Design and

characterization of a microwave feed-forward ampliﬁer with

improved wide-band distortion cancellation, IEEE Microwave

Theory Tech. MTT-49(1):200–203 (2001).

9. J. K. Cavers, Adaptation behavior of a feedforward ampliﬁer

linearizer, IEEE Trans. Veh. Technol. 44(1):31–40 (1995).

10. J. Chen, H. Tsai, and Y. Chen, Fast adaptive wide-band power

ampliﬁer feed-forward linearizer, IEEE Vehicular Technology

Conf., 1998, pp. 2167–2171.

11. A. Echeverr´ ia, L. Fan, S. Kanamaluru, and K. Chang, Fre-

quency tunable feedforward ampliﬁer for PCS applications,

Microwave Opt. Technol. Lett. 23(4):218–221 (1999).

12. K. Horiguchi, M. Nakayama, Y. Sakai, K. Totani, H. Senda,

Y. Ikeda, and O. Ishida, A high efﬁciency feedforward ampli-

ﬁer with a series diode linearizer for cellular base stations,

IEEE MTT-S Microwave Symp. Digest, 2001, pp. 797–800.

13. R. G. Randall, J. G. McRory, and R. H. Johnston, Broadband

DSP based feedforward ampliﬁer lineariser, Electron. Lett.

38(23):1470–1471 (2002).

14. G. Parkinson and D. K. Paul, Non-reciprocal couplers using

distributed ampliﬁer topology, Microwave Opt. Technol. Lett.

38(5):366–368 (2003).

FERRITE CIRCULATORS

E. K. N. YUNG

D. X. WANG

City University of Hong Kong

Kowloon, Hong Kong, P.R. China

R. S. CHEN

Nanjing University of Science

and Technology

Nanjing, P.R. China

1. INTRODUCTION

The circulator is one of the elementary building blocks in

radiofrequency and microwave circuits. It is used exten-

sively in making basic devices for communications and

radar systems. The latter are often used in broadband and

high-power rating systems at microwave and millimeter-

wave frequencies. It is, however, seldom found in consum-

er products because some of its functions can be performed

1448 FERRITE CIRCULATORS

Previous Page

by simpler and cheaper alternatives. However, interest in

circulators has been revitalized with the emergence of

mobile communications. As an increasing number of users

are accustomed to the freedom provided by cellular

phones, communication without the constraint of an at-

tached wire is considered as natural as breathing air. In

addressing the ever-increasing public demands, numerous

wireless systems have been launched and more are com-

ing. The most notable ones are wireless local area net-

work, wireless local subscriber loops, and other high-

bit-rate yet low-error-rate systems of data transmission.

For these systems, the overlooked circulator enjoys a com-

petitive edge as most active switches could not deliver the

needed power rating and bandwidth at a reasonable price,

especially those in the ultra-high-frequency band and

beyond.

For engineering students, the circulator is perhaps

the ﬁrst multiport device covered in their foundation

course on microwave engineering, and it might be

the ﬁrst nonreciprocal passive device encountered [1,2].

The importance of this three-port device in communica-

tion systems can be explained by its functionality. Simply

put, waves entering one of the identical ports of a circu-

lator, say, port 1, are totally transmitted to one of the

output ports, port 2, with none to the remaining one,

port 3. Similarly, those inputted to port 2 are passed on

to port 3 without loss while port 1 is isolated. The cycle

is completed as signals entering port 3 are outputted

to port 1 only. Schematically, a circulator is shown in

Fig. 1.

The scattering matrix of the clockwise circulator shown

in Fig. 1 is

½S

clockwise

¼

0 0 1

1 0 0

0 1 0

_

¸

¸

_

_

¸

¸

_

ð1Þ

Depending on the physical layout of a circuit and one’s

point of view, a circulator can also be counter-clockwise

and the relevant scattering matrix is

½S

counterclockwise

¼

0 1 0

0 0 1

1 0 0

_

¸

¸

_

_

¸

¸

_

ð2Þ

Extension of a three-port circulator to an m-port one is

possible, but it is skipped here because it introduces no

new concepts, yet the algebra involved is so tedious that

the logic ﬂow of this introductory article could be derailed.

Note that, the scattering matrices given in (1) and (2) are

valid for lossless three-port circulators with perfectly

matched inputs and outputs. Modiﬁcations of the theories

and practices presented in this article to low-loss m-port

ones with less than perfect matched input and output

ports have been conducted in many pioneering studies

[3,4]. Again, they are omitted here, and interested readers

are referred to a comprehensive book [5].

The passive trafﬁc control in circulators is facilitated by

an anisotropic element. Isotropy or anisotropy is an in-

trinsic characteristic of all matters that ﬁnds its origin in

their molecular structures and atomic dipole moments of

electric or magnetic nature [6]. In general, these dipole

moments are randomly oriented in the absence of an ex-

ternal excitation; therefore the material on the whole has

a negligibly small net dipole moment. The scenario could

change abruptly with the introduction of an applied static

electric ﬁeld as the electric dipole moments align them-

selves with the impressed force and a net electric dipole

moment results. Similarly, a spontaneous magnetic dipole

moment is obtained by a biasing magnetic ﬁeld. The dipole

alignment is dependent on the strength of the excitation

until all dipoles are almost perfectly oriented. The align-

ment, in fact, depends on the molecular structure of the

material, the ambient temperature, the initial settings,

and other physical conditions. In general, the relationship

between the dipole alignment and the applied ﬁeld is non-

linear, and for some materials, it is anisotropic.

The principles of circulator operation, basic theories of

anisotropy, wave propagation in anisotropic materials,

and circulator applications will be briefly presented in

Sections 2–4, followed by a general description of selected

circulators in Section 5. The most popular ones, especially

waveguide junction circulators, will be analyzed in depth

in Section 6. A few concluding remarks will be presented

in Section 7.

2. ANISOTROPY AND ANISOTROPIC MATERIALS

In theory, both electrical and magnetic materials can be

used to produce anisotropic effects in a circulator. Mag-

netic anisotropy is, however, still used in practically all

circulators over a half-century since its invention. Hence,

the discussion in this section focuses on magnetic anisot-

ropy. Nevertheless, the potential of using electrically an-

isotropic materials in circulators in the future cannot be

dismissed. One of the major candidates for this is the uni-

axial chiral material especially made for microwave fre-

quencies. Although significant progress has been observed

2

1

3

Figure 1. A schematic sketch of a circulator.

FERRITE CIRCULATORS 1449

in this area in recent years, the technologies at our dis-

posal at this moment are far from satisfactory. Thus it has

been decided not to further investigate the use of electri-

cally anisotropic materials in circulators until more ma-

ture technologies are available.

As this is only an introductory article on circulators, we

will not attempt to cover all circulators available on the

market. For similar reasons, only theories of anisotropy

directly relevant to the selected circulators discussed here

will be presented.

2.1. Spinning Electron in Free Space

The angular momentum of an electron in an atom or an

ion arises from two factors: its orbital motion around the

atomic nucleus and its spin. Based on quantum mechan-

ics, the total angular momentum of an electron in free

space is given by

s ¼

1

g

h

2p

ð3Þ

where h¼6.626 Â 10

À34

J/s is Planck’s constant and g is

Lande’s factor. If the angular momentum of an electron is

due solely to its orbital motion, then g ¼1. At the other

extreme, a g ¼2 factor is used to signify a spin-only mo-

mentum. For most materials of interest in microwave sys-

tems, it can be shown that g ranges from 1.98 to 2.01;

therefore g ¼2 is a good approximation. Based on Bohr’s

model, the magnetic dipole moment of an electron is

m¼

e

m

0

h

4p

¼9:27 Â10

À24

A=m

2

ð4Þ

where e ¼1.6 Â 10

À19

C is the charge of an electron and

m

0

¼9.1 Â 10

À31

kg is its mass.

Comparing (3) and (4), it is found that the ratio of the

magnetic dipole moment of a spinning electron to its an-

gular momentum is a constant, the so-called called gyro-

magnetic ratio:

g ¼

m

s

¼

e

m

0

¼1:759Â10

11

C=kg ð5Þ

According to Hund’s rule, electrons in a shell would spread

out over the available states with spins in the same direc-

tion until the shell is half-ﬁlled, and all subsequent addi-

tions would have spins in the opposite direction. Thus, the

magnetic dipole moment of an atom with a fully ﬁlled out-

ermost shell such as found in the inert gases is zero. At the

other extreme, the maximum dipole moment is obtained in

a half-ﬁlled shell, and in the 10-state d shell it is 5.

Returning to the familiar Newtonian mechanics, the

magnetostatic torque acting on the dipole moment due to

an impressed static magnetic ﬁeld H

DC

is

T¼m

0

mÂH

DC

ð6Þ

As electrons are negatively charged, its angular momen-

tum is opposite to its dipole moment:

m¼ Àgs ð7Þ

Since torque is equal to the rate of change of angular mo-

mentum, one arrives at

ds

dt

¼T¼ Àm

0

gs ÂH

DC

ð8Þ

The equation of motion for a spinning electron is obtained

by substituting (7) into (8)

dm

dt

¼ Àm

0

gmÂH

DC

ð9Þ

Without loss of generality, the study can be furthered with

a ^ zz-biased H

DC

. Thus, the components of the vector equa-

tion above are

dm

x

dt

¼ Àm

0

gm

y

H

DC

ð10Þ

dm

y

dt

¼m

0

gm

x

H

DC

ð11Þ

dm

z

dt

¼0 ð12Þ

Differentiating (10) and (11) once more, two harmonic

equations are derived

d

2

m

x

dt

2

þo

2

0

m

x

¼0 ð13Þ

d

2

m

x

dt

2

þo

2

0

m

y

¼0 ð14Þ

where o

0

is the Larmor frequency of precession, given by

o

0

¼m

0

gH

DC

ð15Þ

A solution to both (13) and (14) is

m

x

¼A cos o

0

t ð16Þ

m

x

¼A sin o

0

t ð17Þ

It is observed from (4) that the magnitude of m is ﬁxed;

therefore one gets

m

2

¼

gh

4p

_ _

2

¼m

2

x

þm

2

y

þm

2

z

¼A

2

þm

2

z

ð18Þ

In short, m would precess around the ^ zz axis with an angle

y:

sin y ¼

A

m

ð19Þ

Moreover, the projection of mon the x–y plane would trace

a circular path with an angular frequency o

0

as depicted

in Fig. 2. For a standalone atom in free space, m could

process indefinitely. However, for an atom in a crystal, the

electron would experience numerous gravitational and

1450 FERRITE CIRCULATORS

electromagnetic forces. Altogether, these interactions

would constitute a damping force that causes m to spiral

inward, and in due course, m would align with the biasing

ﬁeld.

Even after the dipole alignment is completed, the mag-

netic ﬂux density due to magnetization for most materials

is very weak, compared with the biasing magnetic ﬁeld.

Hence, the relative permeability in paramagnetic materi-

als is slightly greater than 1, while that of diamagnetic

materials is marginally less than unity.

Here, it is worthwhile to comment on the units used in

this article. Traditionally, studies of magnetism are con-

ducted in CGS units with the magnetic ﬁeld strength ex-

pressed in oersteds and the magnetization in gauss. The

units are chosen such that the magnetic ﬂux density B and

the magnetic ﬁeld strength H in free space would have

equal numeric values. On the other hand, in line most en-

gineering texts, formulas presented in this article will be

derived in MKS units. Hence, utmost care must be taken

in using some properties of magnetic materials quoted in

CGS units. For easy reference, some of the most frequently

used unit conversions are tabulated in Table 1.

2.1.1. Ferromagnetic and Ferrimagnetic Materials. In

general, magnetization effects are very weak even for at-

oms with a half-ﬁlled outermost shell such as chromium

and manganese. A different mechanism is needed to en-

hance the magnetization. It is found in some substances,

called ferromagnetic materials. From a microscopic point

of view, ferrous metals are composed of tiny domains of

linear dimensions of a few micrometers. It is proved in

quantum mechanics that strong coupling forces exist be-

tween atoms in each domain such that all atomic dipole

moments are kept in parallel even when there is no ex-

ternal ﬁeld. As the dipole moments of these domains are

randomly oriented, a demagnetized ferromagnetic mate-

rial shows no magnetization effect, from a macroscopic

perspective. Analogous to the ionic dipole moments in

paramagnetic and diamagnetic materials, the magnetic

dipole of every domain in ferrous metals reacts to an im-

pressed ﬁeld, except that the responses are much stronger.

Consequently, the permeability of ferromagnetic materials

is notably higher than its paramagnetic and diamagnetic

counterparts, a factor of many orders. Again, the magne-

tization depends on the ﬁeld strength until saturation.

Probably as a result of some form of domain deformation

during the magnetization processes, certain domain rota-

tions are not reversible after the external bias is removed,

and a residue magnetic effect results. This remanent mag-

netization plays a key role in subsequent magnetizations

and contributes to the infamous hysteresis loop.

Significant magnetization can also be observed in the

so-called antiferromagnetic materials. Even though the

dipole moments in the latter class of materials align with

the applied ﬁeld equally fervently, their directions are

either in line with or opposite to that of the excitation, and

the end result is a complete cancellation of magnetization

effects.

Another class of substances, termed ferrimagnetic ma-

terials, exhibits a behavior intermediate between ferro-

magnetism and antiferromagnetism. The pattern of dipole

alignment in these materials is similar to that of antifer-

romagnetic ones except the number of magnetic dipoles in

opposite polarities is different and their magnitudes are

not equal. Hence, a partial cancellation of dipole moments

is observed. As expected, magnetization of ferrimagnetic

materials is considerably lower than that of ferrous met-

als. The maximum magnetic ﬂux density in ferrimagnetic

materials is seldom greater than 0.3Wb/m

2

, approximate-

ly one-tenth that of ferromagnetic ones. However, a mag-

netization of this magnitude is significantly higher than

that of nonmagnetic matters; therefore they are often used

in picking up spurious waves in electromagnetic compat-

ibility and electromagnetic interference control.

Ferrimagnetic materials can be found in nature in

a variety of forms such as lodestones. They were ﬁrst

mentioned in history more than 4500 years ago when nat-

ural magnets played a decisive role in a major battle

in China as a component in compasses. A nonnatural

ferrimagnetic material was ﬁrst produced by Hilpert in

1909 [7], and practical ones were developed shortly after

Spinning

electron

H

dc

S

m

z

→

→

∧

0

Figure 2. Angular momentum and magnetic dipole moment of a

spinning electron.

Table 1. Conversion between CGS and MKS Units

Symbol MKS Units CGS Units

Magnetic ﬂux c 1 weber 10

8

maxwell

Magnetic ﬂux density B 1 tesla¼1 weber/meter

2

10

4

gauss

Magnetic ﬁeld intensity H 1 ampere-turn/meter 4p Â 10

À3

oersted

Magnetization M 1 weber/meter

2

2500/p gauss

FERRITE CIRCULATORS 1451

World War II [8]. Synthetic ferrimagnetic materials are

usually polycrystalline. For some applications, large crys-

tals can be made, but they are seldom used as they are

very expensive.

Humanmade (synthetic) ferrimagnetic materials are

now called ferrites for easy reference. Over the years, nu-

merous ferrites have been synthesized for assorted appli-

cations at different frequencies. Based on their crystal

structures, these ferrites can be grouped into three cate-

gories, namely, spinels, garnets, and hexagonal ferrites.

Mineral spinels have a molecular formula of

(MgAl

2

O

4

)

8

. Over the years, many synthetic spinels have

been developed and they share a structure similar to that

of (MOFe

2

O

3

)

8

, where ‘‘M’’ represents divalent metal, in-

cluding cobalt, aluminum, cadmium, copper, lithium, iron,

magnesium, manganese, nickel, titanium, zinc, and their

combinations. As metallic ions are smaller than oxygen

ions, the crystal structure of spinels depends solely on the

arrangement of oxygen ions, the face-centered cubic lat-

tice [10] as shown in Fig. 3. Also shown in Fig. 3 are the

sites where metallic ions can be found. It can be shown

that a metallic ion in site A has four oxygen neighbors and

thus is called tetrahedral site; site B is termed octahedral

because it has six adjacent oxygen ions. In a unit crystal of

56 ions, there are only 8 tetrahedral and 16 octahedral

metallic ions; therefore not all sites in the crystal lattices

of 32 oxygen ions are ﬁlled. It is also found that the mag-

netic moments in tetrahedral and octahedral sites cancel

one another; the remaining 8 octahedral ones give the

ferrite crystal its net magnetic moment [11].

Common garnet or andradite has a molecular structure

of Ca

3

Fe

2

Si

3

O

12

. The frequently used yttrium iron garnet

(YIG) is obtained by replacing calcium by yttrium and sil-

icone by iron. The net magnetic moment can be adjusted

by substituting some iron ions by aluminum ones (YAG),

or yttrium by a rare earth such as gadolinium, holmium,

or dysprosium. For synthetic garnets, a unit crystal of 40

ions has a molecular formula of (Fe

2

O

3

)

5

(M

2

O

3

)

3

; where

‘‘M’’ stands for rare earth. There exist three types of sites

in the crystal structure for housing the metallic ions and

all sites are ﬁlled.

Ferrites can be mass-produced as if they were ceramics,

except the demands on purity of raw materials, uniformity

in grain sizes, correctness in mix proportion, homogeneity

of the suspension, precision in casting, timing and tem-

perature control in ﬁring, and other manufacturing pro-

cesses are very stringent and the error margin is very

slim. The raw materials include oxides, carbonates,

nitrates, oxalates, and some metallic compounds. As the

facilities used in making ferrites are very expensive and

the exact procedures are usually company secrets, few

laboratories can make them from scratch. It is, however,

recommended that research centers be equipped with di-

amond wheels and other apparatuses for cutting and

grinding raw ferrites into the desired shapes because the

physical dimensions of ferrites have direct consequences

on the performance of circulators, as are the smoothness

and the cleanliness of their surfaces.

As ferrites are ceramiclike compounds, they are very

hard, brittle, and low in thermal conductivity. Unlike fer-

romagnetic materials, ferrites have low electrical conduc-

tivities; thus, they are frequently used in electrical and

electronic devices for a variety of purposes. However, the

feature that makes ferrites indispensable in microwave

circuit designs is anisotropy, not low conductivity. Of

course, an in-depth study of anisotropy is beyond the

scope of this article, but a brief outline of its origin is

deemed appropriate for a better understanding the nature

of wave circulations in magnetized ferrites.

2.1.2. Magnetization of Ferrites. The conﬁguration of

interest is a ferrite crystal under an internal magnetic

ﬁeld H

int

. The excitation exterior to a ferrite specimen is

different from H

int

, and it will be treated later. For a sam-

ple with N unbalanced electron spins per unit volume, the

total magnetization is

M

DC

¼Nm ð20Þ

Similar to (9), the equation of motion is

dM

DC

dt

¼ Àm

0

gM

DC

ÂH

int

ð21Þ

As the damping force inside a ferrite crystal is much

stronger than that acting on a standalone atom in free

space, the magnetic dipole moments will align with the

magnetic excitation readily. With an increase in H

int

, an

increasing number of magnetic dipoles line up with the

biasing ﬁeld, and eventually the alignment process is com-

pleted and the magnetization is saturated as depicted in

Fig. 4. The saturation magnetization M

s

is a physical

property of ferrite, and typically it ranges within 4pM

s

¼

300–5000 G. Unless mentioned otherwise, ferrites operate

in the state of saturation magnetization because they are

very lossy at lower levels of magnetization. Hence, the

equation of motion in (21) could be rewritten as

dM

s

dt

¼ Àm

0

gM

s

ÂH

int

ð22Þ

Regardless of whether the magnetization is saturated,

ferrite will be permanently magnetized after the magne-

tization process. The crystal structure of having dipole

moments of opposite polarities in an alternating fashion

may constitute a cementing force that keeps the align-

ment intact after the external bias is removed. In some

B

A

Figure 3. Tetrahedral (A) and octahedral (B) sites in the crystal

structure of oxygen ions.

1452 FERRITE CIRCULATORS

circulators, a premagnetized ferrite is adequate and ex-

ternal magnetization is not needed [32].

It is well known that atoms can pick up thermal energy

from the surrounding environment and vibrate according-

ly. Sometimes, the atomic vibration in ferrites could make

the dipole alignment very difﬁcult even at room tempera-

ture. As a rule of thumb, an increase in ambience temper-

ature is accompanied by a decrease in saturation

magnetization. At a sufﬁciently high temperature, called

the Curie temperature T

c

, the vibrational energy could

overwhelm the electromagnetic energy, and the process of

dipole alignment would break down as illustrated in Fig. 5.

3. WAVE PROPAGATION IN FERRITE

Our attention now turns to wave propagations in magne-

tized ferrites. Without loss of generality, a ferrite specimen

is magnetized in the ^ zz direction and is illuminated by an

incident plane wave of arbitrary orientation and of ampli-

tude H

RF

. The total magnetic ﬁeld and magnetization are

H¼H

int

þH

RF

¼H

x

^ xx þH

y

^ yy þðH

int

þH

z

Þ ^ zz ð23Þ

M¼M

s

þM

RF

¼M

x

^ xx þM

y

^ yy þðM

s

þM

z

Þ ^ zz ð24Þ

The corresponding equation of motion is

dM

dt

¼

dM

s

dt

þ

dM

RF

dt

¼

dM

RF

dt

¼ Àm

0

gMÂH:

ð25Þ

In its components, the equation of motion is

dM

x

dt

¼ þm

0

gM

y

ðH

int

þH

z

Þ

Àm

0

gH

y

ðM

s

þM

z

Þ

ð26Þ

dM

y

dt

¼m

0

gM

x

ðH

int

þH

z

Þ

Àm

0

gH

x

ðM

s

þM

z

Þ

ð27Þ

dM

z

dt

¼ Àm

0

gM

x

H

y

þm

0

gM

y

H

x

ð28Þ

Since H

RF

5H

int

, M

x

H

y

and similar products can be

ignored in accordance with the small signal approxima-

tions. As a result, the preceding equations can be simpli-

ﬁed to

dM

x

dt

¼ Àm

0

gM

y

H

int

þm

0

gM

s

H

y

¼ Ào

0

M

y

þo

m

H

y

ð29Þ

dM

y

dt

¼m

0

gM

x

H

int

Àm

0

gM

s

H

x

¼o

0

M

x

Ào

m

H

x

ð30Þ

dM

z

dt

¼0 ð31Þ

where o

0

is the Larmor frequency of precession, and

o

m

¼m

0

gM

s

ð32Þ

Comparing (15) and (32), o

m

can be expressed as

o

m

¼o

0

M

s

H

int

ð33Þ

Differentiating (29) and (30) once more, one gets

d

2

M

x

dt

2

¼ Ào

2

0

M

x

þo

0

o

m

H

x

þo

m

dH

y

dt

ð34Þ

d

2

M

y

dt

2

¼ Ào

2

0

M

y

þo

0

o

m

H

y

Ào

m

dH

x

dt

ð35Þ

In a time-harmonic analysis, these equations can be sim-

pliﬁed to

ðo

2

0

Ào

2

ÞM

x

¼o

0

o

m

H

x

þjoo

m

H

y

ð36Þ

ðo

2

0

Ào

2

ÞM

y

¼ Àjoo

m

H

x

þo

0

o

m

H

y

ð37Þ

0 H

int

M

s

M

d

c

Figure 4. Magnetization of ferrites versus magnetic ﬁeld inten-

sity.

T

c

M

s

0

Figure 5. Magnetization of ferrites versus ambient temperature.

FERRITE CIRCULATORS 1453

Note that both M

x

and M

y

are dependent on H

x

as well as

H

y

. In other words, a tensor is needed to characterize the

relationship between magnetization M and its driving

force, the magnetic ﬁeld intensity H; that is

M¼w H¼

w

xx

w

xy

0

w

yx

w

yy

0

0 0 0

_

¸

¸

_

_

¸

¸

_

H ð38Þ

The nonzero components of the susceptibility tensor w are

w

xx

¼w

yy

¼

o

0

o

m

o

2

0

Ào

2

ð39Þ

w

xy

¼ Àw

yx

¼

joo

m

o

2

0

Ào

2

ð40Þ

Consequently, the magnetic ﬂux density B must be mod-

iﬁed to

B¼m

0

ðHþMÞ ¼m H: ð41Þ

The z-bias Polder permeability tensor m is given by [13]

m ¼m

0

I þw

_ _

¼

m jk 0

Àjk m 0

0 0 m

0

_

¸

¸

_

_

¸

¸

_

ð42Þ

where I is an identity tensor.

The components of the permeability tensor are

m ¼m

0

ð1 þw

xx

Þ ¼m

0

1þ

oo

m

o

2

0

Ào

2

m

_ _

ð43Þ

k¼ Àjm

0

w

xy

¼m

0

o

0

o

m

o

2

0

Ào

2

m

ð44Þ

It is observed that an ^ xx-directed or ^ yy-directed Hwould give

rise to both ^ xx and ^ yy components of B with a quadratic

phase shift between them. A material having this type of

properties is called gyrotropic.

If the biasing magnetic ﬁeld is ^ xx-directed, the corre-

sponding gyrotropic permeability tensor is

m¼

m

0

0 0

0 m jk

0 Àjk m

_

¸

¸

_

_

¸

¸

_

ð45Þ

3.1. Forced Precession

If the incoming wave in the preceding section is a right-

handed circularly polarized plane wave propagating in the

z direction, H

x

¼ ÀjH

y

¼H

þ

0

, the relevant magnetization

can be determined by (36) and (37):

M

x

¼

o

m

H

þ

0

o

2

0

Ào

2

ðo

0

þoÞ ¼

o

m

H

þ

0

o

0

Ào

ð46Þ

M

y

¼

Àjo

m

H

þ

0

o

2

0

Ào

2

ðoþo

0

Þ ¼

Àjo

m

H

þ

0

o

0

Ào

¼ ÀjM

x

ð47Þ

Hence, the magnetization vector is also circularly polar-

ized and rotates in the same direction with an angular

velocity o. It then follows that the magnetic ﬂux density is

circulating synchronously with the driving force and the

effective permeability is given by

m

þ

0

¼m

0

1 þ

o

m

o

0

Ào

_ _

ð48Þ

It is interesting to compare the angle of precession of the

magnetic ﬁeld intensity y

H

and that of the magnetization

vector y

þ

M

:

tany

H

¼

H

þ

0

H

int

þH

z

ﬃ

H

þ

0

H

int

ð49Þ

tan y

M

¼

M

x

M

s

þM

z

ﬃ

o

m

o

0

Ào

H

þ

0

M

s

¼

o

0

o

0

Ào

H

þ

0

H

int

ð50Þ

By invoking (32), we can rewrite (50) as

tan y

þ

M

¼

o

0

o

0

Ào

H

þ

0

H

int

ð51Þ

Hence, as long as oo2o

0

, then y

þ

M

> y

H

as shown in Fig. 6.

Since H

þ

0

5H

int

, the angle of precession is usually very

small except when o¼o

0

, the Larmor frequency. As indi-

cated in (29) and (30), the magnetization could be inﬁnitely

large at o¼o

0

; therefore o

0

is also known as ferrimagnetic

resonance. We will revisit ferrimagnetic resonance later

because circulators usually operate in its vicinity.

If the driving force is a ^ zz-directed left-handed circularly

polarized wave, the magnetization and the magnetic ﬂux

H

int

H

0

+

H

M

→

→+

z

∧

y

∧

Spinning

electron

0

H

0

M

Figure 6. Force precession with y

þ

M

> y

H

.

1454 FERRITE CIRCULATORS

density are also similarly polarized, and the correspond-

ing effective permeability and angles of precession are

m

À

0

¼m

0

1 þ

o

m

o

0

þo

_ _

ð52Þ

tan y

À

M

¼

o

0

o

0

þo

H

À

0

H

int

ð53Þ

Here, y

À

M

oy

H

and the magnetic dipole moment rotates

in a direction opposite to its free precession as indicated in

Fig. 7. In short, the external excitation sets up a prefer-

ential pattern of precession and leads to nonreciprocal

characteristics in wave propagation.

3.2. Damping

As mentioned previously, circulators are usually magne-

tized such that they operate in the vicinity of ferrimag-

netic resonance. Based on (47), both M

x

and M

y

could be

inﬁnitely large with y

M

¼901. To stabilize the magnetiza-

tion vector at resonance, a damping term must be added

into the equation of motion in (25). Landau and Lifshitz

(as cited by Helszajn [12]) have shown that the damping

force pulling the magnetization vector toward the driving

force H

int

is

F

damping

/ MÂ

dM

dt

ð54Þ

The damping force acting on the precession is illustrated

in Fig. 8. The equation of motion with the damping force

included is

dM

dt

¼ Àm

0

gMÂHÀ

am

0

jMj

MÂ

dM

dt

ð55Þ

where a is a dimensionless constant.

Using small argument approximations and following

procedures presented in deriving (39) and (40), the com-

ponents in the susceptibility tensor can be derived as

w

xx

¼w

yy

¼

o

m

ðo

0

þjaoÞ

ðo

0

þjaoÞ

2

Ào

2

ð56Þ

w

xy

¼ Àw

yx

¼

joo

m

ðo

0

þjoÞ

2

Ào

2

ð57Þ

It appears that the susceptibility with damping factors

can be obtained by replacing o

0

in the loss-free formulas

with o

0

þjao. Watch out, the conventional way in deriving

damping effects is to replace o by oþjao! Usually, the

susceptibility tensor is expressed in its real and imaginary

parts; that is

w

xx

¼w

0

xx

þjw

00

xx

ð58Þ

w

xy

¼w

0

xy

þjw

00

xy

ð59Þ

where

w

0

xx

¼

o

0

o

m

ðo

2

0

Ào

2

Þ þa

2

o

0

o

m

o

2

½o

2

0

Ào

2

ð1 þa

2

Þ

2

þ4a

2

o

2

0

o

2

ð60Þ

w

00

xx

¼

ao

m

o½o

2

0

þo

2

ð1þa

2

Þ

2

½o

2

0

Ào

2

ð1 þa

2

Þ

2

þ4a

2

o

2

0

o

2

ð61Þ

w

0

xy

¼

Ào

m

o½o

2

0

Ào

2

ð1þa

2

Þ

2

½o

2

0

Ào

2

ð1 þa

2

Þ

2

þ4a

2

o

2

0

o

2

ð62Þ

w

00

xx

¼

2ao

0

o

m

o

2

½o

2

0

Ào

2

ð1 þa

2

Þ

2

þ4a

2

o

2

0

o

2

ð63Þ

H

int

H

0

−

H

→

M

→

θ

M

z

∧

y

∧

Spinning

electron

θ

H

Figure 7. Forced precession with y

À

M

oy

H

.

Spinning

electron

H

0

M

→

M x

→

dm

dt

→

dm

dt

→

0

M

Figure 8. Effect of damping force on the precession.

FERRITE CIRCULATORS 1455

Note that all components reach a common peak at

o

0;max

¼o

ﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ

1 þa

2

_

% o 1 þ

a

2

2

_ _

ð64Þ

Since o

0

is given in terms of the impressed driving force

H

int

, the magnetic ﬁeld needed to attain a ferrimagnetic

resonance at a given frequency is

H

fr

¼

o

0;max

m

0

g

%

o

m

0

g

1 þ

a

2

2

_ _

ð65Þ

The susceptibility component of particular interest is w

00

xx

,

whose maximum is

w

00

xx;max

¼

o

m

2ao

ð66Þ

Variation of w

00

xx

with the impressed magnetic ﬁeld is

sketched in Fig. 9, which shows the so-called linewidth

of ferrites. Linewidth is the parameter provided by ferrite

manufacturers to describe magnetic losses at resonance. It

is deﬁned as the difference between the magnetic ﬁelds

where w

00

xx

is one-half of w

00

xx;max

for a given frequency.

Assuming that w

00

xx

is changing quadratically near res-

onance, the linewidth can be derived as

DH %

2ao

m

0

g

ð67Þ

In general, circulators are operated in the region either

above resonance H

int

4H

fr

or below resonance H

int

oH

fr

as

indicated in Fig. 9.

3.3. Demagnetization

As mentioned previously, the biasing ﬁeld exterior to a

ferrite sample is different from the interior one. This re-

lationship is dependent on the shape of the specimen as

well as the orientation of the external excitation. For ex-

ample, if the impressed ﬁeld B

ext

is normal to the surface

of a ferrite slab or inﬁnite extent, the continuity of the

normal component of magnetic ﬂux density dictates that

B

ext

¼m

0

H

ext

¼m

0

ðH

int

þM

s

Þ ð68Þ

Hence

H

int

¼H

ext

ÀM

s

ð69Þ

However, if the applied ﬁeld is parallel to the slab’s sur-

face, the continuity of the tangential magnetic ﬁeld inten-

sity demands that

H

ext

¼H

int

ð70Þ

In general, the magnetic ﬁeld intensity in ferrite can be

determined in terms of a demagnetization factor x:

H

int

¼H

ext

ÀxM

s

ð71Þ

The argument is valid for all directions; therefore there

are three x values, one for each coordinate. Moreover, the

demagnetization factors are dependent on the shape of the

ferrite sample as well as the direction of the external ﬁeld,

relative to the specimen. It can be proved that the sum of

three demagnetization factors in Cartesian coordinates is

equal to 1:

x

x

þx

y

þx

z

¼1 ð72Þ

For a circular ferrite disk of negligible thickness, the de-

magnetization factors can be determined as if it were a slab

such as that just mentioned, that is, x

z

¼1 and x

x

¼x

y

¼0.

On the other hand, if a ferrite post of inﬁnite length is

magnetized axially, the demagnetization factor in the z

direction is zero, and the x values on the x–y plane can be

determined by twofold symmetry; therefore x

x

¼x

y

¼

1

2

.

Similarly, on the basis of threefold symmetry, the demag-

netization factors for a sphere excited in any coordinate

are x

x

¼x

y

¼x

z

¼

1

3

.

3.4. Propagation Transverse to Magnetization

In the study of forced precessions, a plane wave propa-

gates in the direction of the static magnetic excitation.

Preferential treatment of some waves and ferrimagnetic

resonance are established. However, wave propagations in

most circulators are transverse to the biasing magnetic

ﬁeld. To illustrate the latter phenomenon, the simplest

conﬁguration is used. It is a rectangular ferrite slab of in-

ﬁnite width and depth but of negligible thickness. For

consistency with the notations used in waveguides and

microstrip lines, the external magnetic ﬁeld is ^ xx-directed

and the permeability tensor given in (45) is applicable.

The ferrite slab is illuminated by an incident plane

wave propagating in the ^ zz direction:

E¼ð ^ xxE

x

þ ^ yyE

y

Þe

Àjb

0

z

ð73Þ

H¼ð ^ xxH

x

þ ^ yyH

y

Þe

Àjb

0

z

ð74Þ

Above

Resonance

Below

Resonance

H

1

H

2

H

int

H

fr

∆H / 2

X"

max

1/2X"

max

Figure 9. Variation of w

00

xx

with H

int

.

1456 FERRITE CIRCULATORS

In a gyrotropic medium, the Maxwell equations are

rÂE¼ ÀjomH ð75Þ

rÂH¼joeE ð76Þ

r

.

D¼0 ð77Þ

r

.

B¼0 ð78Þ

It is found that (75) can be satisﬁed with a nonzero E

z

or a

nonzero H

z

, but not both. Hence, a more general form for

waves in ferrite is selected:

E¼ð ^ xxE

x

þ ^ yyE

y

þ ^ zzE

z

Þe

Àjbz

ð79Þ

H¼ð ^ xxH

x

þ ^ yyH

y

þ ^ zzH

z

Þe

Àjbz

ð80Þ

According to this postulation, @/@z ¼ Àjb; by symmetry,

@/@y ¼0; and by the negligible thin approximation, @/@x ¼

0. Thus, the constituents of the curl equations in (58) can

be reduced to

jbE

y

¼ Àjom

0

H

x

ð81Þ

ÀjbE

x

¼ ÀjoðmH

y

þjkH

z

Þ ð82Þ

0 ¼ ÀjoðÀjkH

y

þmH

z

Þ ð83Þ

Similarly, the curl equation in (76) can be simpliﬁed to

jbH

y

¼joeE

x

ð84Þ

ÀjbH

x

¼joeE

y

ð85Þ

0 ¼joeE

z

ð86Þ

Based on (86), E

z

is zero; therefore H

z

must be nonzero.

Moreover, from both (84) and (85), the intrinsic impedance

of the medium is found:

Z ¼

E

x

H

y

¼ À

E

y

H

x

¼

b

oe

ð87Þ

Substituting (87) into (81), the propagation constant is

derived:

b

2

¼o

2

m

0

e ð88Þ

It is also observed in (83) that H

z

can be evaluated in

terms of H

y

:

H

z

¼

jk

m

H

y

ð89Þ

This formula can be used to eliminate H

z

from (82):

bE

x

¼o m þjk

jk

m

_ _

H

y

¼

o

m

ðm

2

Àk

2

ÞH

y

ð90Þ

Combining (87) and (90), another solution for the propa-

gation constant is obtained

b

2

e

¼

o

2

e

m

ðm

2

Àk

2

Þ ¼o

2

m

e

e ð91Þ

where b is denoted by b

e

to distinguish it from the other

solution given in, and m

e

is an effective permeability of the

medium, given by

m

e

¼

m

2

Àk

2

m

ð92Þ

If the electric ﬁeld of the incident wave is ^ yy-directed, the

continuity of the tangential electric ﬁeld intensity at the

air-ferrite interface implies that E

x

¼0; so that H

y

is also

zero, and by (89) H

z

also vanishes. Hence, the only solution

for b is (88) and the wave is called ‘‘ordinary,’’ which means

that wave propagation in ferrite is not affected by the

magnetization. However, if the electric vector is ^ xx-direct-

ed, the only viable b is that given in (91). With a nonzero

H

y

, H

z

is also nonzero, and the resultant wave is called

‘‘extraordinary.’’ Thus, wave propagation in ferrite is po-

larization-dependent. On the other hand, if the incident

ﬁeld has both ^ xx and ^ yy components, it is treated as a com-

bination of two linearly independent entities, and each

propagates independently with a different phase velocity.

As a result, two images are created, the so-called birefrin-

gence effect. It is also noticed that k is frequency-depen-

dent; therefore the effective permeability for a given H

int

and M

s

could become negative if the frequency is high

enough, and an incident wave will be totally reﬂected from

ferrite. This scenario can be viewed from a different angle

in which the frequency is ﬁxed and evanescent effects can

be obtained by changing the external magnetic ﬁeld

intensity.

3.5. Wave Circulation around a Ferrite Cylinder of

Inﬁnite Length

The conﬁguration of interest in this subsection is a ferrite

cylinder of radius a and of inﬁnite length. It is placed on

the ^ zz axis and magnetized axially; therefore the perme-

ability tensor given in (42) is appropriate. Wave propaga-

tion in ferrite can be determined by treating the cylinder

as a dielectric resonator. It is assumed that the cylindrical

surface would behave as if it were a magnetic wall; that is,

E

j

¼0 at r¼a. So are the surfaces on top of and at the

bottom of the cylinder; therefore E

r

¼0 for z ¼7N. Since

the cylinder is inﬁnitely long, @/@z ¼0; consequently E

r

¼0

everywhere. Using standard coordinate transformations,

the nonzero components of the magnetic ﬂux density can

FERRITE CIRCULATORS 1457

be determined by (41):

B

r

¼B

x

cos jþB

y

sin j

¼ðmH

x

þjkH

y

Þ cos j

þðÀjkH

x

þmH

y

Þ sin j

¼mH

r

þjkH

j

ð93Þ

B

j

¼ ÀB

x

sinjþB

y

cos j

¼ ÀðmH

x

þjkH

y

Þ sin j

þðÀjkH

x

þmH

y

Þ cos j

¼ ÀjkH

r

þmH

j

ð94Þ

The components of the curl equation in (75) in cylindrical

coordinates can be expressed as

1

r

@E

z

@j

¼ ÀjoðmH

r

þjkH

j

Þ

¼ ÀjomH

r

þokH

j

ð95Þ

À

@E

z

@r

¼ ÀjoðÀjkH

r

þmH

j

Þ

¼ ÀokH

r

ÀjomH

j

ð96Þ

Hence, the magnetic ﬁeld components can be written in

terms of E

z

:

H

r

¼

1

om

e

À

k

m

@E

z

@r

þ

j

r

@E

z

@j

_ _

ð97Þ

H

j

¼

j

om

e

À

@E

z

@r

þ

j

r

k

m

@E

z

@j

_ _

ð98Þ

Similarly, the curl equation in (59) can be reduced to a

scalar one:

1

r

@ðrH

j

Þ

@r

À

@H

r

@j

_ _

¼joeE

z

ð99Þ

Substituting (97) and (98) into (99), a wave equation of E

z

is obtained:

@

2

E

z

@r

2

þ

1

r

@E

z

@r

þ

1

r

2

@

2

E

z

@j

2

þb

2

e

E

z

¼0 ð100Þ

This wave equation is the characteristic equation for ﬁnd-

ing the admissible a. It is identical to that of a cylindrical

dielectric waveguide whose solutions are

E

z;n

¼ðA

þ

n

e

jnj

þA

À

n

e

Àjnj

ÞJ

n

ðb

e

rÞ; n¼1; 2; . . . ð101Þ

where J

n

is a Bessel function of the ﬁrst kind of the nth

order. The magnetic ﬁeld of interest is H

j

, which can be

found by substituting (101) into (98):

H

j

¼

Àj

Z

e

A

þ

n

e

jnj

J

0

n

ðb

e

rÞ þ

n

b

e

r

k

m

J

n

ðb

e

rÞ

_ _ _

þA

À

n

e

Àjnj

J

0

n

ðb

e

rÞ À

n

b

e

r

k

m

J

n

ðb

e

rÞ

_ __

ð102Þ

The resonance can be obtained by enforcing that H

j

¼0 at

r ¼a:

J

0

n

ðb

e

aÞ Æ

n

b

e

a

k

m

J

n

ðb

e

aÞ ¼0; n¼1; 2; . . . ð103Þ

Note that there are two possible roots for each n, associ-

ated with waves circulating in the clockwise direction e

jnj

and the other in the counterclockwise direction, e

Àjnj

.

In most cases, the n¼1 mode is the dominant one, and

the corresponding solution of (103) is 1.84. Hence, b

e

is

derived as

b

e

a¼1:84 ð104Þ

The waves circulating in opposite directions could be made

in phase at one of the output ports and out of phase at the

remaining port. Assume that port 1 at j¼0 is the input,

the electric ﬁeld at r ¼a can be obtained by (101) for n¼1:

E

z;1

¼E

0

¼ðA

þ

1

þA

À

1

ÞJ

1

ðb

e

aÞ ð105Þ

At the isolated port at j¼ À1201, the electric ﬁeld inten-

sity is

E

z;1

¼ðA

þ

1

e

Àj120

þA

À

1

e

j120

ÞJ

1

ðb

e

aÞ ð106Þ

If the output at the isolated port is made zero, the un-

known constants can be determined by solving the simul-

taneous equations in (105) and (106):

A

þ

1

¼

1 þj=

ﬃﬃﬃ

3

p

2J

1

ðb

n

aÞ

E

0

ð107Þ

A

À

1

¼

1 Àj=

ﬃﬃﬃ

3

p

2J

1

ðb

n

aÞ

E

0

ð108Þ

It is interesting to ﬁnd that the electric ﬁeld at the output

port at j¼1201 is

E

z;1

¼ðA

þ

1

e

j120

þA

À

1

e

Àj120

ÞJ

1

ðb

e

aÞ ¼ ÀE

0

ð109Þ

By substituting (107) and (108) into (102), the tangential

magnetic ﬁeld at every port of the circulator can be deter-

mined in terms of E

0

. After a lengthy yet straightforward

algebraic manipulation, the results are

H

j

ðr ¼aÞ ¼

E

0

=Z

e

; j¼0

E

0

=Z

e

; j¼120

0; j¼240

_

¸

¸

_

¸

¸

_

ð110Þ

1458 FERRITE CIRCULATORS

where Z

e

is the effective impedance of ferrite, given by

Z

e

¼

ﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ

m

e

e

_

ð111Þ

Sketched in Fig. 10 is the standing-wave pattern in a

magnetized ferrite cylinder. It is clearly shown that ener-

gy inputted to port 1 is outputted to port 2 with none to

port 3.

For comparison, the ﬁeld pattern in a cylindrical

dielectric resonator is shown in Fig. 11, where the signals

at ports 2 and 3 are equal in both amplitude and phase.

3.6. Typical Ferrites Used in Circulators

In circulator designs, the selection of an appropriate fer-

rite element is of paramount importance. On one hand, it

must satisfy the electromechanical requirements on size,

weight, power handling, and temperature range. On the

other hand, it must meet the stipulated performance elec-

tronically, including center frequency, bandwidth, inser-

tion loss, and linearity.

Besides the physical dimensions and shape of a ferrite

specimen, the characteristics of the material could make a

major difference in the performance of a circulator. The

most important ferrite parameters are saturation magne-

tization (4pM

s

), Curie temperature (T

c

), and linewidth

(DH). For reference, the characteristics of some spinels

and garnets are listed in Tables 2 and 3.

For example, the magnetic ﬁeld needed to establish

ferrimagnetic resonance at f ¼4GHz is

H

fr

%

o

m

0

g

¼1:137Â10

5

A=m¼1429 Oe

For a specimen of zinc–nickel spinel with 4pM

s

¼5000 G,

the Cuire temperature is 3751C, and the damping factor is

a %

m

0

g

2o

DH¼

1

2H

RF

DH¼0:17 Np=m

Input

Output

Isolation

Figure 11. Standing-wave pattern in a demagnetized ferrite

cylinder.

Input

Output

Isolation

Figure 10. Standing-wave pattern in a magnetized ferrite cylin-

der.

Table 2. Major Characteristics of Spinels

Composition 4pM

s

(G) T

c

(1C) DH (Oe)

MgAl 650 100 115

1700 225 120

2420 310 180

MgMn 1130 175 180

1900 280 350

2800 300 300

MgMnAl 750 90 120

1300 140 135

1750 225 225

MgMnZn 2500 275 520

3000 240 190

NiAl 1000 400 320

2500 570 490

NiZn 4000 500 270

5000 375 160

LiTi 1000 330 300

2000 490 400

2900 600 550

Table 3. Major Characteristics of Garnets

Composition 4pM

s

(G) T

c

(1C) DH (Oe)

Y 1800 280 45

Yal 250 100 40

550 160 40

1000 210 40

1600 265 40

YgdAl 210 110 65

550 185 65

800 260 75

1400 265 50

YGdAlDy 500 225 95

800 245 70

1200 260 60

1600 280 75

YgdAlHo 550 180 100

700 240 90

800 240 110

CaVIn 600 200 25

1200 220 10

1850 240 15

FERRITE CIRCULATORS 1459

If the circulator is designed to operate in the abovemen-

tioned resonance region, the external magnetic ﬁeld re-

quired must be greater than

H

ext

¼H

int

þM

s

> H

RF

þM

s

¼1827 Oe

4. APPLICATIONS

4.1. Isolator

The principal application of circulators is load isolation, a

low transmission loss in one direction, and a relatively

high attenuation in the reverse path. At microwave fre-

quencies, generators are vulnerable to frequency shifting

due to load variations; therefore isolation is needed to

protect them from waves reﬂected from the less than per-

fectly matched loads. Reasonable isolation can be imple-

mented by inserting a circulator between the source and

its load with the third port terminated at a matched load

as depicted in Fig. 12.

For better protection, the isolation can be obtained by a

series of circulators. However, if ampliﬁers are used, ad-

ditional isolations as shown in Fig. 13 are recommended

because ampliﬁers are seldom unconditionally stable for

all loads.

Shown in Fig. 14 is a circulator inserted between a re-

ceiving antenna and a low-noise ampliﬁer. In satellite re-

ceiving antennas, isolation is needed to prevent waves

leaking from the low-noise ampliﬁer from interfering with

the weak signals picked up by the antenna.

Good isolation between the source and the load can be

obtained by using a one-port negative-resistance ampliﬁer

as illustrated in Fig. 15. It is noted that many IMPATT

(impact ionization avalanche transit time) and BARITT

(barrier-injected transit time) diodes exhibit a negative

input impedance of Z

d

. The output signal is that reﬂected

from the diode as a result of impedance mismatch, and the

gain of the ampliﬁer is equal to

r

2

¼

Z

d

ÀZ

0

Z

d

þZ

0

_ _

2

¼

Z

0

þjZ

d

j

Z

0

ÀjZ

d

j

_ _

2

ð112Þ

where Z

0

is the characteristic impedance of the transmis-

sion line.

In fact, greater isolation can be obtained by inserting

an additional circulator in the isolator in Fig. 15 as shown

in Fig. 16.

4.2. Duplexer

A duplexer is a device that allows an antenna to serve as a

transmitter as well as a receiver. Many duplexers made of

hybrids junctions, solid-state switches, and others are

available on the market, but simple ferrite duplexers are

preferred because they allow a single antenna to carry out

both functions simultaneously. The outgoing waves are

coupled to the transmitting antenna through a circulator,

and signals picked up by the antenna are fed to the

receiving ampliﬁer via a circulator such as that shown

in Fig. 17.

Load

Source

Z

o

Figure 12. Isolation between the source and its load.

Source

Load

Diode

Figure 15. A negative-resistance isolator.

Z

o

LNA Receiver

Figure 14. Isolation between a receiving antenna and a low

noise ampliﬁer.

Load

Source

Amp

Z

o

Z

o

Figure 13. Isolation between the source, the ampliﬁers, and the

load.

Source

Load

Z

o

Diode

Figure 16. An enhanced negative-resistance isolator.

1460 FERRITE CIRCULATORS

For a poorly matched antenna, part of the outgoing

signal is reﬂected by the antenna and is directed by the

circulator to the ampliﬁer with the incoming signal. In

order to enhance the transmitter–receiver isolation and to

prevent damage to the ampliﬁer, a limiter is usually added

at the output port of the circulator as shown in Fig. 18.

4.3. Reciprocal Ferrite Switch

As wave circulation in a circulator is dependent on the

polarity of its excitation, the direction of circulation can be

reversed by reversing the biasing magnetic ﬁeld. It is also

noted that ferrite retains its magnetization even after the

external driving force is removed and waves can circulate

in the same course until the permanent magnetization

effect wears off. If the magnetic ﬁeld is generated electro-

magnetically by a current coil, magnetization can be re-

versed by a large current pulse in an appropriate

direction. On the basis of this idea, a reciprocal ferrite

switch has been designed and is sketched in Fig. 19.

4.4. Multiplexing

A multiplexer is a device that carries many channels of

signals in a given bandwidth. The simplest one is the dip-

lexer of two channels shown in Fig. 20. Signals output

from the lowpass ﬁlter are directed by the circulator to the

highpass ﬁlter, where they are rejected. The reﬂected

waves are then forwarded to the common channel with

the output of the highpass ﬁlter via the same circulator.

In general, multiplexers can be built by simply inter-

connecting the ﬁlters together, but utmost care must be

taken to reduce interactions among various ﬁlters. Multi-

plexers with circulators, on the other hand, can accommo-

date almost any ﬁlter because the circulator serves as an

isolator as well as an integrator. Naturally, this concept

can be extended to design a three-channel multiplexer as

sketched in Fig. 21. As circulators have insertion losses,

this conﬁguration is not recommended for building a mul-

tiplexer of many channels.

5. TYPES OF CIRCULATORS

Of all the available circulators, the junction circulator is

by far the dominant one. Over the years, many types of

junction circulators of different power ratings have been

developed for use at a wide range of frequencies, from VHF

Receiver

Transmitter

Figure 17. A ferrite duplexer.

Limiter

Transmitter

Receiver

Figure 18. A ferrite duplexer with a limiter.

Source

Switched

circulator

Unswitched

circulator

Load

Electromagnet

Figure 19. A reciprocal ferrite switch.

Channel 1

Channel 2

Figure 20. A diplexer.

Channel 1

Channel 2

Channel 3

Figure 21. A three-channel multiplexer.

FERRITE CIRCULATORS 1461

to millimeter waves. Depending on the transmission

medium, circulators can be sorted into categories of wave-

guides, microstrip lines, striplines, and coaxial lines. Com-

mon to all junction circulators, the magnetization is

transverse to the direction of wave propagation.

For comparison, waves propagate in the direction of

magnetization in differential phase shift circulators and

Faraday rotation circulators. Hence, the principle of oper-

ation is drastically different from that of junction circula-

tors. These four-port circulators are skipped in this article

simply because they are seldom used in modern systems.

5.1. Waveguide Y-Junction Circulators

At microwave and millimeter-wave frequencies, the only

feasible circulator is a waveguide junction circulator, con-

stituting a Y junction of three H-plane rectangular wave-

guides as shown in Fig. 22 [13,14]. A ferrite cylinder

spanning the height of the waveguide is mounted normal

to the ﬂoor of the waveguide junction. It is placed at the

center of the Y junction for symmetry. Moreover, a metal

plate with three symmetric spikes pointing toward the

ports of entry is added between the ferrite specimen and

the waveguide ﬂoor for better impedance matching as

shown in Fig. 23. Also shown in the same ﬁgure is the

glue that serves as an insulating layer separating the fer-

rite post and the impedance-matching plate. The ferrite

post is magnetized axially by a permanent magnet or an

electromagnet outside the waveguide.

Even though the connecting waveguides are operating

in TE

10

modes, higher-order modes, including the evanes-

cent ones, exist in the junction. Note that the ferrite cyl-

inder itself is a dielectric resonator whose resonant

frequency is dependent on its length ‘ and its radius a

f

.

To bring about wave circulations in the waveguide junc-

tion, a

f

is obtained by solving the characteristic equation

given in (103). However, the result obtained from (104) is

adequate for most cases:

a

f

¼

1:84

b

e

¼

1:84l

2p

ﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ

m

e

e

p ð113Þ

The leverage in adjusting ‘ does provide us a mechanism

to generate higher-order modes [33] such as HE

11

for im-

proving the performance of the circulator, including im-

pedance matching, bandwidth, quality factor, and

insertion loss [15]. To this end, a partial-height ferrite cyl-

inder on an elevated ﬂoor as shown in Fig. 24 is developed.

For stronger mechanical support, the space above and be-

low the shortened post is ﬁlled by two dielectric cylinders

of similar shape. Moreover, it is observed that the electric

ﬁeld tangential to the central plane of the waveguide is

either maximum or zero due to symmetry. If the post is cut

into two halves, a zero tangential ﬁeld is obtained. Hence,

an additional option is gained by cutting the ferrite post

into two with one remaining on the ﬂoor and the other

attached to the ceiling as shown in Fig. 25.

Ferrite posts of circular and triangular cross sections are

the popular choices, but hexagonal and other shapes

can also be used. Since disks can be made by slicing a cyl-

inder and their principles of operation are identical, it is

Ferrite

R

0

Figure 22. A Y-junction waveguide circulator.

Glue

Ferrite

Waveguide

wall

Impedance

matching plate

Figure 23. Side view of a ferrite post in a waveguide Y junction.

Ferrite

Dielectric

2a

f

l

Figure 24. Side view of a partial ferrite post in a waveguide Y

junction.

l/2

l/2

Figure 25. Side view of a divided partial ferrite post in a wave-

guide Y junction.

1462 FERRITE CIRCULATORS

considered as a cylinder. It has been shown that circulator

with a triangular ferrite cylinder might have a marginally

lower insertion loss [16], but its overall performance is

comparable to that of a circular one. However, in cases

where the tolerance on physical dimensions is very slim,

the circular post prevails because grinding and polishing

the superhard and brittle ferrite cylinder to a cross section

of a perfect circle is much easier than making one with a

faultless equilateral triangle. The situation is especially

critical for millimeter-wave circulators because the diame-

ter of the relevant ferrite posts is less than a millimeter.

Along this line of thought, a new design is proposed in

which the cylinder is replaced by a sphere as shown in Fig.

26. Spheres are chosen because they can be mass-produced

with the highest precision as if they were ball bearings

produced by the time-honored technologies [17]. In fact, the

major gain in this maneuver is ease in implementation. As

the base of a ferrite cylinder is very small, mounting it

normally on a ﬂat surface is easier said than done; there-

fore erecting one properly on the ﬂoor of an equally minis-

cule Y-junction circulator is very tricky. This agony is

totally resolved in the present design because a sphere is

always normal to the ﬂoor. The performance of this circu-

lator is at least on par with the traditional one. Rigorous

analysis and experimental studies of waveguide circulators

with ferrite spheres will be examined in later sections.

5.2. Stripline Y-Junction Circulators

At ultrahigh frequencies, stripline circulators are more

popular because waveguides are seldom used in this fre-

quency range [18]. The junction where three striplines

meet is a conducting disk of radius a

c

. Anisotropic effects

are provided by two ferrite disks of radius a

f

above and

below the center conductor. For better performance, a

f-

Za

c

, and both of them are much larger than the width of

the stripline w. Preferably, the ferrite disks are thin

enough such that the sandwich can be squeezed between

the upper and lower conducting plates of the original

striplines as shown in Fig. 27. The junction circulator is

magnetized externally such that the magnetic vector is

normal to the surface of the ferrite disks. The ferrite disks

and the center conductor may be in any shape as long as

the threefold symmetry is retained.

The striplines carry TEM modes only; therefore wave

propagations are transverse to the magnetization vector.

As w5a

c

, the tangential magnetic ﬁeld is constant over

the widths of the striplines and is zero on the circumfer-

ence of the center conductor. Since a

f

Ea

c

, the magnetic

ﬁeld strength on the peripheral of the ferrite disk is ob-

tained by enforcing the continuity of tangential magnetic

ﬁelds, a constant at the input ports and zero elsewhere.

The normal electric ﬁeld in ferrite E

z

satisﬁes the Helm-

holtz equation given in (100), and the magnetic ﬁelds are

expressed in terms of E

z

as given in (97) and (98).

The required wave equation is derived by expressing

E

z

as

E

z

ðjÞ ¼

_

p

Àp

Gðj; j

0

ÞH

j

ðj

0

Þdj

0

ð114Þ

where G(j;j

0

) is the Green function [18], given by

Gðj; j

0

Þ ¼ Àj

Z

e

2p

J

0

ðb

e

a

f

Þ

J

0

0

ðb

e

a

f

Þ

þ

Z

e

p

1

n¼1

Â

k

m

nJ

n

ðb

e

a

f

Þ

b

e

a

f

sin nðj Àj

0

Þ ÀjJ

0

n

ðb

e

a

f

Þ cos nðj Àj

0

Þ

½J

0

n

ðb

e

a

f

Þ

2

À

k

m

nJ

n

ðb

e

a

f

Þ

b

e

a

f

_ _

2

J

n

ðb

e

a

f

Þ

ð115Þ

Except for simple conﬁgurations, the wave equation in a

Y-junction stripline circulator stated in (103), (114), and

(115) cannot be solved analytically in a closed form. How-

ever, the electric and magnetic ﬁelds can be accurately

and efﬁciently determined by numerical means. In terms

of the ﬁeld quantities, other characteristics of the junction

circulator such as input impedance, reﬂection coefﬁcient,

transfer function, isolation, bandwidth, quality factor, and

insertion loss can be derived.

However, for most applications, the radius of the ferrite

disks required for resonance can be obtained by (113)

and the ﬁeld pattern in ferrite is similar to that sketched

in Fig. 10. Moreover, stripline junction circulators are

usually biased far above resonance in the UHF region:

H

int

bH

fr

. It then follows that m and k can be approximated

by

m

e

% m¼1 þ

4pM

s

H

int

ð116Þ

k¼

4pM

s

H

fr

H

2

int

ð117Þ

a

f

Ferrite sphere

Resin

Figure 26. Side view of a ferrite sphere in a waveguide Y

junction.

Ferrite

Ferrite

Center conductor

Ground

plane

Ground

plane

w

a

f

a

c

Figure 27. A stripline junction circulator.

FERRITE CIRCULATORS 1463

It is also recommended that the minimum radius required

be

a

f

>

4w

3

ð118Þ

5.3. Microstrip-Line Y-Junction Circulators

One reason why circulators are seldom used today is the

lack of effective circulators for microstrip lines, the most

popular media of wave transmission at UHF and micro-

wave bands. Traditionally, a microstrip-line junction cir-

culator is made by laying three metallic strips on a ferrite

disk as shown in Fig. 28. For better impedance matching,

the center conductor may assume any three-way symmet-

ric shape such as the equilateral triangle shown in Fig. 28.

Unlike its stripline counterpart, a microstrip-line junction

circulator has only one ferrite disk on a large ground

plane. For the microstrip line on a substrate of ferrite, its

characteristic impedance is quite different from that on a

dielectric substrate. Hence, an additional impedance

matching is needed at every port of entry.

In order to improve impedance matching and to reduce

cost, a simpler version is developed. Instead of putting the

microstrip lines and the center conductor on a ferrite disk,

they are printed on a dielectric substrate as illustrated in

Fig. 29. Wave circulation is made possible by covering the

junction with a ferrite disk of radius a

f

. Similar to a wave-

guide Y-junction circulator, the disk can be replaced by a

hemispherical one. The major advantage gained in this

maneuver is ﬂexibility because the frequency of a given

circulator can easily be altered by replacing its ferrite by a

different material or by changing its physical shape or di-

mension. Unfortunately, the performances of the afore-

mentioned circulators are not very satisfactory and

further improvements are needed.

One improvement proposed is a microstrip-line circu-

lator with a ferrite sphere as shown in Fig. 30 [19]. Even

though a better performance is observed, it remains infe-

rior to those waveguide and stripline circulators. With the

increasing popularity of microstrip lines and other copla-

nar waveguides, development in this direction is desper-

ately needed.

5.4. Lumped-Element Circulators

Common to all junction circulators, as mentioned previ-

ously, the size of the ferrite specimen is proportional to

wavelength. This means that the circulator could become

prohibitively large in HF and VHF regions. To this end, a

simple circulator is designed by winding three coils

around a ferrite disk as shown in Fig. 31 [20]. The coils

in these lumped-element circulars are oriented 1201 from

one another, so are the magnetic ﬁelds created by these

coils. Two ferrite disks of 10–15mm in diameter and 1–

2 mm thick are packed inside a grounded metal box. The

so-called coil in each port in fact consists of two one-turn

coils in parallel; one returns through the bottom of the

shielding box and the other via its top, as illustrated in

Fig. 32. In order to distribute the magnetic ﬁeld more

evenly in ferrite, the current is divided into multiple ﬁl-

aments as shown in Fig. 33. The magnetic ﬁeld is parallel

to the surface of the ferrite disk. The magnetization vector

is normal to the magnetic ﬁelds due to the coils and the

ferrite disk is usually biased above resonance.

Ground plane

Figure 28. A junction circulator with microstrip lines on a sub-

strate of ferrite disk.

Ferrite

Sphere

Figure 30. A microstrip-line junction circulator with a ferrite

sphere.

Substrate

Ground plane

Figure 29. A microstrip-line junction circulator with a ferrite

disk on top. Figure 31. A lumped constant circulator.

1464 FERRITE CIRCULATORS

Applying the concept of a balanced three-phase power

circuit, the neutral or return line can be obliterated, pro-

vided the three branches are 1201 out of phase from one

another. The combined length of each coil is much shorter

than a wavelength, so it is essentially an inductor. To re-

store resonance at the junction, each branch is shunted to

ground via a capacitor, and the resultant star circuit is

depicted in Fig. 34a. Alternatively, a series capacitor C

s

can

be added in series with the coil as shown in Fig. 34b. It can

be shown that the waves rotating in opposite directions in

ferrite can be characterized by two inductances, namely

L

þ

¼L

0

ðm þkÞ ð119Þ

L

À

¼L

0

ðm ÀkÞ ð120Þ

where L

0

is the inductance of each phase with the ferrite

disk removed. For an ideal circulation, these inductances

are given by

L

þ

þL

À

¼

2

o

2

C

s

ð121Þ

L

þ

ÀL

À

¼1:156

Z

0

o

ð122Þ

The gyrotropic parameters can be determined on the basis

of (119)–(122):

m ¼

1

o

2

L

0

C

s

ð123Þ

k¼

Z

0

1:73oL

0

ð124Þ

6. IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS OF SOME SELECTED

CIRCULATORS

The formulas presented in Section 4 are derived for

circulators with clear-cut geometries, and they are

based on many approximations, including the over sim-

pliﬁed ones. It is obvious that these simple formulas

are not accurate enough for computer-aided designs of

miniature circulators at microwave and millimeter-wave

frequencies. In-depth analyses of circulators, on the

other hand, do exist, but the number is limited because

the topic itself is commonly considered as old-fashioned,

compared with mobile communications, networking,

nanotechnology, and other trendy ones. Even if one exists,

it is customarily developed for waveguide circulators.

Nonetheless, it is worthwhile to present some of the

techniques in detail in this section because they can be

modiﬁed to treat other types of circulators. Most impor-

tant of all, the rationale behind the development of these

techniques and the insights gained during the process are

invaluable in the design of innovative circulators in the

future.

All in all, four techniques for analyzing typical circu-

lators will be covered. Note that the emphasis is not placed

on the techniques themselves, but on how the technique is

applied to solve the problem and the characteristics of the

circulators. Through the examples, readers may pick up

the skill for identifying an appropriate method for ana-

lyzing their circulators.

Ferrite

Center conductors

Shielding box

Figure 32. Side view of a lumped constant circulator.

Parallel

Conductors

Magnetic

flux lines

Magnetization

Ferrite

Figure 33. Magnetic ﬁeld lines in ferrite and around the current

coil.

(a) (b)

Figure 34. Equivalent circuit of the lumped

constant circulator: (a) shunt; (b) series.

FERRITE CIRCULATORS 1465

6.1. Finite-Difference Method

The conﬁguration of interest is an H-plane waveguide

Y-junction circulator with a full-length ferrite post

as sketched in Fig. 22. Consistent with the assumption

that the only mode propagating in the waveguide in

the dominant TE

10

mode, all ﬁeld quantities in the

circulator are independent of z, a direction normal to

its ﬂoor. Hence, the problem is reduced to a two-dimen-

sional one. It can be shown that the transverse compo-

nents of the electromagnetic wave in ferrite can

be determined in terms of E

z

and H

z

. In the cylindrical

coordinate system, the characteristic equations in

ferrite are

@

2

E

z

@r

2

þ

1

r

@E

z

@r

þ

1

r

2

@

2

E

z

@j

2

þb

2

e

E

z

¼0 ð125Þ

@

2

H

z

@r

2

þ

1

r

@H

z

@r

þ

1

r

2

@

2

H

2

@j

2

þb

2

H

z

¼0 ð126Þ

where b and b

e

are as given in (88) and (91), respectively.

Equations similar to (125) and (126) can be used to

determine both E

z

and H

z

exterior to the ferrite

post in the junction, provided b

e

in (125) is replaced

by b.

The major difﬁculty in solving the characteristic equa-

tions is to resolve the conﬂict due to the rectangular wave-

guides and the cylindrical junction. The simplest yet

sufﬁciently in-depth method for solving this boundary

problem is the ﬁnite-difference method proposed by Yung

and his researchers [21]. In order to keep the boundary of

a waveguide Y junction cylindrical in shape, a truncation

boundary as illustrated in Fig. 35 is introduced. With ev-

anescent modes ignored, the ﬁeld values at the truncation

boundary can be expressed in terms of the TE

10

modes at

the input and output ports; therefore all boundary values

are deﬁned. It is readily recognized that discretization of

(125) requires the ﬁeld values at ﬁve nodes. A unique so-

lution is obtained by enforcing that the tangential electric

and magnetic ﬁelds are continuous on the surface of the

ferrite post.

The ﬁnite-difference method is applied to analyze

a waveguide Y circulator with a G1002 ferrite post

(e

r

¼15.4, 4pM

s

¼1000G, DH¼20 Oe, and a

f

¼3mm).

The width of the waveguide is 22.86 mm and the internal

magnetic ﬁeld is H¼200Oe. The reﬂection coefﬁcient,

the insertion loss, and the isolation are plotted in Figs.

36 and 37, and 38, respectively. Also shown in these ﬁg-

ures are the experimental data published in Ref. 22. Ex-

cellent agreement between the analytical results and

measurements is seen. It is also observed from the plots

that the ﬁnite loss of ferrite has negligible effects on the

general performance of a circulator except when the fre-

quency is close to ferrimagnetic resonance.

6.2. Finite-Difference Time-Domain Method

Other than full-height ferrite posts, the ﬁeld quantities in

the waveguide junction are usually dependent on z, even

though the dominance of TE

10

remains valid in the input

and output waveguides. For a three-dimensional case, the

ﬁnite difference method just mentioned is no longer ade-

quate, but the ﬁnite-difference time-domain (FDTD) meth-

od is. Yee’s discretization scheme [23] is chosen because it

does not require the time-consuming matrix inversion and

convergence is assured. In terms of Yee’s mesh, the FDTD

j ç - Plane

Truncation

boundary node

waveguide

wall

Figure 35. The truncation boundary and the nodal pattern in

the waveguide junction.

lossless

lossy

experimental

R

e

f

l

e

c

t

i

o

n

(

d

B

)

0

5

10

15

20

25

7.5 8.5 9.5 10.5 11.5 12.5

Frequency (GHz)

Figure 36. Variation of the reﬂection coefﬁcient

at the input port with frequency.

1466 FERRITE CIRCULATORS

approximations of six ﬁeld components in (75) through

(78) are

H

nþ1=2

x

i; j þ

1

2

; k þ

1

2

_ _

¼H

nÀ1=2

x

i; j þ

1

2

; k þ

1

2

_ _

þ

m

22

m

2

0

ðm

2

Àpa

2

Þ

tat

1

taz

_

E

n

y

i; j þ

1

2

; kþ1

_ _ _

ÀE

n

y

i; j þ

1

2

; k

_ __

À

1

tay

E

n

z

i; j þ1; k þ

1

2

_ _

ÀE

n

z

i; j; k þ

1

2

_ _ _ __

À

m

12

m

2

0

ðm

2

Àpa

2

Þ

tat

1

tax

E

n

z

i þ

1

2

; j þ

1

2

; k þ

1

2

_ _ _ _

ÀE

n

z

i À

1

2

; j þ

1

2

; kþ

1

2

_ __

À

1

taz

E

n

z

i; j þ

1

2

; k þ1

_ _

ÀE

n

z

i; j þ

1

2

; k

_ _ _ __

ð127Þ

H

nþ1=2

y

i þ

1

2

; j; k þ

1

2

_ _

¼H

nÀ1=2

y

i þ

1

2

; j; kþ

1

2

_ _

þ

m

11

m

2

0

ðm

2

Àpa

2

Þ

tat

1

tax

E

n

z

i þ1; j; k þ

1

2

_ _ _ _

ÀE

n

z

i; j; k þ

1

2

_ __

À

1

taz

E

n

x

i þ

1

2

; j; k þ1

_ _

ÀE

n

x

i þ

1

2

; j; k

_ _ _ __

À

m

21

m

2

0

ðm

2

Àpa

2

Þ

tat

1

taz

E

n

y

i þ

1

2

; j; kþ1

_ _ _ _

ÀE

n

y

i þ

1

2

; j; k

_ __

À

1

tay

E

n

z

i þ

1

2

; j þ

1

2

; k þ

1

2

_ _ _

ÀE

n

z

i þ

1

2

; j À

1

2

; kþ

1

2

_ ___

ð128Þ

lossless

lossy

experimental

7.5 8.5 9.5 10.5 11.5 12.5

Frequency (GHz)

I

n

s

e

r

t

i

o

n

l

o

s

s

(

d

B

)

0

5

10

Figure 37. Variation of the insertion loss at the

output port with frequency.

lossless

lossy

experimental

I

s

o

l

a

t

i

o

n

(

d

B

)

0

5

10

15

20

25

7.5 8.5 9.5 10.5 11.5 12.5

Frequency (GHz)

Figure 38. Variation of the isolation at the

third port with frequency.

FERRITE CIRCULATORS 1467

H

nþ1=2

z

i þ

1

2

; j þ

1

2

; k

_ _

¼H

nÀ1=2

z

i þ

1

2

; j þ

1

2

; k

_ _

þ

tat

m

0

1

tay

E

n

x

i þ

1

2

; j þ1; k

_ _ _ _

ÀE

n

x

i þ

1

2

; j; k

_ _

À

1

tax

E

n

y

i þ1; j þ

1

2

; k

_ _ _

ÀE

n

y

i; j þ

1

2

; k

_ ___

ð129Þ

E

nþ1

x

i þ

1

2

; j; k

_ _

¼E

n

x

i þ

1

2

; j; k

_ _

þ

tat

epsilon

r

1

tay

H

nþ1=2

z

iþ

1

2

; jþ

1

2

; k

_ _ _ _

ÀH

nþ1=2

z

i þ

1

2

; j À

1

2

; k

_ __

À

1

taz

H

nþ1=2

y

i þ

1

2

; j; k þ

1

2

_ _ _

ÀH

nþ1=2

y

i þ

1

2

; j; k À

1

2

_ ___

ð130Þ

E

nþ1

y

i; j þ

1

2

; k

_ _

¼E

n

y

i; j þ

1

2

; k

_ _

þ

tat

epsilon

r

1

taz

H

nþ1=2

x

i; jþ

1

2

; kþ

1

2

_ _ _ _

ÀH

nþ1=2

x

i; j þ

1

2

; k À

1

2

_ __

À

1

tax

H

nþ1=2

z

i þ

1

2

; j þ

1

2

; k

_ _ _

ÀH

nþ1=2

z

i À

1

2

; j þ

1

2

; k

_ ___

ð131Þ

E

nþ1

z

i; j; k þ

1

2

_ _

¼E

n

z

i; j; kþ

1

2

_ _

þ

tat

epsilon

r

H

nþ1=2

y

i þ

1

2

; j; kþ

1

2

_ _ _ _

ÀH

nþ1=2

y

i À

1

2

; j; k þ

1

2

_ __

À

1

tay

H

nþ1=2

x

i; j þ

1

2

; kþ

1

2

_ _ _

ÀH

nþ1=2

x

i; j À

1

2

; k þ

1

2

_ ___

ð132Þ

where Dx, Dy and Dz are the widths of the Yee cell, and

m

11

¼m

22

¼m

xx

and m

12

¼m

21

¼m

xy

are as given in (56) and

(57), respectively.

As the FDTD approximations above are expressed in

Cartesian coordinates, the algebra involved in solving a

waveguide Y-junction circulator will be very tedious and

the resultant time of computation prohibitively long. To

better depict the nature of the FDTD scheme, it is applied

to solve a waveguide T-junction waveguide as shown in

Fig. 39. Although a partial-height ferrite post is shown,

the FDTD scheme is, in fact, applicable for any body of

arbitrary shape, including a sphere. Moreover, it is noted

that some values in (127)–(132) are not available directly

from Yee’s scheme, but fortunately, they can be generated

by a linear interpolation of the neighboring ﬁelds. Details

are not given here; interested readers are referred to the

paper by Schneider and Hudson [24].

The waveguide T-junction circulator under investiga-

tion consists of three X-band waveguides of dimensions

22.86 Â 10.16 mm, and the radius of its full-height ferrite

post is a

f

¼3.5 mm. Variations of the reﬂection coefﬁcient

at the input, the insertion loss at the output, and the

isolation at the isolated port are respectively plotted in

Figs. 40 and 41, and 42 as a function of frequency. It is

readily seen that excellent agreement with the results

published in Ref. 25 is observed.

R

0

Figure 39. A waveguide T-junction circulator.

−25

−20

−15

−10

−5

0

7.5 8.5 9.5 10.5 11.5 12.5

Frequency (GHz)

R

e

f

l

e

c

t

i

o

n

(

d

B

)

FDTD

[25]

Figure 40. Variation of the reﬂection coefﬁcient at the input port

with frequency.

1468 FERRITE CIRCULATORS

To better depict the characteristics of wave circulation,

the power density in the ferrite post is plotted in Fig. 43 as

a function of j at f ¼10.3GHz for three different r values.

The input and output power densities in a closed path at a

given r are always conserved as ferrite is assumed to be

lossless and no power is dissipated in the waveguide

junction area. It is also observed that the power entering

the input port at j¼901 is transmitted to the output port

at j¼2701.

For comparison, the variations of power densities out-

side the ferrite post are plotted in Fig. 44, where R

0

is the

radius of the largest circle inside the T junction. The

nature of power transfer to the output port is clearly

demonstrated.

Although we have absolute faith in the accuracy of our

results computed in the numerical analysis, it is always

nice to know that they compare well with those obtained

in experimental studies. In fact, readings in measurement

are vulnerable to numerous errors and constraints, in-

cluding purity of the materials, uniformity of the mixture,

tolerance of the physical cuttings, stability of the fre-

quency generation, imperfect matching of the intercon-

nects, loss due to spurious radiations, and precision of the

measuring instrument. There is no reason to believe that

measurements are more reliable than computational data.

However, most engineers and researchers will feel more

comfortable whenever they see a reasonably good agree-

ment between the analytical and the experimental results.

In this connection, the FDTD study is repeated for a

waveguide circulator with a NiZn ferrite sphere (a

f

¼

1.0mm, e

r

¼2.25, 4pM

s

¼5000G, H

ext

¼1700Oe, and DH¼

120 Oe). The numerically obtained reﬂection coefﬁcients,

insertion losses, and isolations are plotted against the

experimental data in Fig. 45. Given the complexity of

the conﬁguration and the gyrotropic nature of the pro-

blem, the agreements between the analytical results and

the measurement are more than acceptable.

6.3. Finite-Element Method

The ﬁnite-element method (FEM) is known for its cap-

ability to model complex structures. Since it requires only

information about the geometry of the device to be ana-

lyzed, the method can be developed into a general-purpose

software package, for example, Ansoft HFSS. With the use

of edge-based vector elements, the FEM can handle dis-

continuity interfaces between different materials without

invoking spurious solutions. When combined with the

−25

−20

−15

−10

−5

0

7.5 8.5 9.5 10.5 11.5 12.5

Frequency (GHz)

I

n

s

e

r

t

i

o

n

l

o

s

s

(

d

B

)

FDTD

[25]

Figure 41. Variation of insertion loss at the output port with

frequency.

−20

−15

−10

−5

0

7.5 8.5 9.5 10.5 11.5 12.5

Frequency (GHz)

I

s

o

l

a

t

i

o

n

(

d

B

)

FDTD

[25]

Figure 42. Variation of the isolation at the other output port

with frequency.

−1.4

−1

−0.6

−0.2

0.2

0.6

1.4

P

o

w

e

r

d

e

n

s

i

t

y

1

0 60 120 180 240 300 360

j/R

0

=0.3

j/R

0

=0.6

j/R

0

=0.9

ç

Figure 43. Variation of the power density inside the ferrite post

with j.

−1

−2

−3

−4

0

1

2

3

4

0 60 120 180 240 300 360

P

o

w

e

r

d

e

n

s

i

t

y

j/R

0

=0.3

j/R

0

=0.9

j/R

0

=0.6

ç

Figure 44. Variation of the power density outside the ferrite post

with j.

FERRITE CIRCULATORS 1469

asymptotic waveform evaluation (AWE) and complex fre-

quency-hopping (CFH) techniques, the FEM can generate

frequency responses over a wide band very efﬁciently.

Although the low-order FEM suffers from the problem of

numerical dispersion, which tends to accumulate as the

wave propagates, this problem has been largely overcome

with the development of higher-order ﬁnite elements [28].

The major remaining difﬁculty is the relatively long com-

puting time and the associated memory requirements for

the resulting ﬁnite-element system. More recently, the

preconditioned iterative solutions [29] and numerical

de-embedding techniques [30] have been developed to

accelerate solutions and reduce memory.

Consider a microwave ferrite device with multiple

ports, inside the ferrite device, where the ﬁeld satisﬁes

the vector partial differential equation

rÂf½m

r

À1

.

ðrÂEÞg Àk

2

0

e

r

.

E¼0 ð133Þ

The boundary condition on the surface of port i can derives

as

^ n n

i

ÂrÂEþP

i

ðEÞ ¼U

inc

i

ð134Þ

where ^ nn

i

denotes the outward unit vector normal to the

surface S

i

, the cross section of port i, and

P

i

ðEÞ ¼

m

k

2

0

jk

m

e

TM

e;m

__

S

i

e

TM

e;m

.

Eds

À

n

jk

n

e

TE

n

__

S

i

e

TE

e;n

.

Eds

ð135Þ

U

inc

i

¼ ^ nn

i

ÂrÂE

inc

i

þ

m

k

2

0

jk

m

e

TM

e;m

__

S

i

e

TM

e;m

.

E

inc

i

ds

À

n

jk

n

e

TE

n

__

S

i

e

TE

e;n

.

E

inc

i

ds

ð136Þ

In the above, e

TM

t;m

denotes the transverse part of the

electric ﬁeld of the mth transverse magnetic (TM) mode,

and e

TE

t;n

denotes the transverse part of the electric ﬁeld of

the nth transverse magnetic (TE) mode. E

inc

i

denotes the

incident ﬁelds at port i. In accordance with the general

variational theory, the functional for the boundary value

problem deﬁned above given by

FðE; E

a

Þ ¼

1

2

___

V

fðrÂE

a

Þ

.

ðrÂEÞ Àe

r

k

2

0

E

a

.

EdV

À

1

2

N

i ¼1

__

S

i

½E

a

.

P

i

ðEÞ ÀE

a

.

U

inc

i

ds

ð137Þ

where N denotes the total number of ports and E

a

denotes

the solution to a properly deﬁned adjoint problem. The

FEM discretization of (137) using vector basis functions

yields the resulting matrix equation:

½AfEg ¼fbg ð138Þ

The solution of (138) can be done using an iterative

solver such as conjugate-gradient method (CGM) and gen-

eralized minimum residuals method (GMRES), and

preconditioned techniques can be used to improve the con-

dition number of the FEM system and accelerate the

convergence rate of iterative solvers. As a result, this

will yield the electric ﬁelds everywhere, including

those over the ports from which the S parameters can be

determined. A three-port circulator loaded with a

full-height ferrite post is simulated with the FEM algo-

rithm given above. The circulation characteristics

are shown in Fig. 46 and are compared with the experi-

mental data of Ref. 31. Another example considers an 8-

mm waveband H-plane Y-junction waveguide circulator

with a partial-height ferrite post [30]. The computed and

experimental results are given in Fig. 47 and show good

agreement.

−20

−16

−12

−8

−4

0

32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39

Frequency (GHz)

d

B

Reflection

Isolation

Insertion loss

Insertion loss(measured)

Isolation (measured)

Figure 45. Comparison of reﬂection coefﬁcients, insertion losses,

and isolations for a waveguide T-junction circulator with a ferrite

sphere with measurements.

−20

−15

−10

−5

0

8 9 10 11 12

Frequency (GHz)

d

B

Insertion

Isolation

Reflection

Figure 46. Performance of the H-plane Y-junction circulator

with a full-height TT1-109 circular ferrite post (—values comput-

ed from this theory; þ þ þ values given by Ref. 31).

1470 FERRITE CIRCULATORS

6.4. Mode-Matching Method

Discrete-domain techniques such as the ﬁnite-difference

and ﬁnite-element methods are slowly convergent,

even for those with simple conﬁgurations. Straight appli-

cation of the aforementioned FDTD scheme to analyze a

waveguide Y-junction circulator with a ferrite specimen

of arbitrary shape is possible but is used only as a last

resort. The culprit is its complex boundary condition,

which involves rectangular walls in the feeding

waveguides, cylindrical truncation border of the wave-

guide junction, and the spherical surface of the ferrite

sphere. It is further complicated by the anisotropic nature

of ferrite. As illustrated earlier in this section, the

computation time can be significantly reduced if a three-

dimensional problem can be approximated by a two-di-

mensional one. Of course, this is not a realistic assumption

for most circulators, but sometimes this scenario can be

created in a piecewise sense by partitioning the conﬁgu-

ration of interest appropriately. For example, the partial-

height ferrite post shown in Figs. 23 and 24 can be divided

horizontally into three parts such that each part contains

a cylindrical resonator of uniform content. In contrast

to the previous example, the ﬁeld quantities in a resonator

of ﬁnite height is not independent of z, yet the subsequent

computation can be significantly cut by assuming that

its dependence takes up the e

jb

z

z

form. As a result,

the relevant characteristic equation is similar to that of

a two-dimensional case given in (100) with b

e

replaced by

b

n

, given by

b

n

¼

ﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ

b

2

e

Àb

2

z

_

ð139Þ

The electric and magnetic ﬁelds in these resonators are

obtained by summing up all possible solutions or modes of

the characteristics equation. Finally, the overall solution

is deducted by stipulating that the tangential electric and

magnetic ﬁelds be continuous at both ends of the cylin-

drical resonators in the adjacent parts.

The mode-matching scheme can be extended to cover a

ferrite body of revolution such as a sphere. For illustra-

tion, if the circle shown in Fig. 48 is segmented vertically

into parallel parts, a cascade of tubes is formed by

revolving the partitioned circle around the z axis. Note

that each tube consists of three components of heights

h

1

, h

2

, and h

3

. Success of the present scheme relies on

our ability to ﬁnd the ﬁeld quantities in a waveguide tube

of uniform content analytically. Again, details are skipped

and readers are referred to another source [27] for an in-

depth analysis of a waveguide lube of an annular base.

The ﬁnal solution is obtained by requiring that the tan-

gential electric and magnetic ﬁelds be continuous on the

cylindrical surfaces as well as the annular bases of the

waveguide tubes.

Although the mathematical derivation is very time-

consuming and the equations obtained are very lengthy,

the required computation time is very short. Characteris-

tics of a waveguide Y-junction circulator with a ferrite

sphere can easily be determined. Results similar to those

given in Figs. 49–51 can be computed in a personal com-

puter in milliseconds, and excellent agreement between

the analytical with experimental results is observed. Due

to the computational efﬁciency, we can afford to ﬁnd the

general ﬁeld pattern inside a waveguide junction circula-

tor. Shown in Fig. 49 are the strength and direction of the

electric ﬁeld vector in a magnetized ferrite sphere. The

ﬁeld pattern in the waveguide junction exterior to the

magnetized ferrite sphere is shown in Fig. 50. In both ﬁg-

ures, the nature of wave circulation is clearly demonstrat-

ed. For comparison, the symmetric ﬁeld pattern in the

waveguide with a demagnetized ferrite sphere is sketched

in Fig. 51.

−30

−25

−20

−15

−10

−5

0

28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35

Frequency (GHz)

d

B

Isolation

Insertion

Figure 47. Performance of the H-plane Y-junction circulator

with a partial-height circular ferrite post (—values computed

from this theory; þ þ þ experimental results given by Ref. 30).

waveguide wall

Z

h

3

h

2

h

1

o j

1

j

2

j

N

j

h

Figure 48. Segmentation of a half circle into a cascade of wave-

guide tubes with annulus bases.

FERRITE CIRCULATORS 1471

7. CONCLUDING REMARKS

Study of circulators is a multidisciplinary one that covers

material science, ferrimagnetism, wave propagation, and

circuit design; therefore, it ﬁnds a special position in many

engineering curricula. Design of circulators marks a sharp

deviation from the current trend in problem solving as

engineers are inclined to solve their assignments by brute

force, such as using a faster computer, a better database, a

larger memory, and a wider bandwidth at a higher fre-

quency. Here, an engineer’s ingenuity can be fully shown

as significant improvement can be obtained by using dif-

ferent material, changing the size and shape of ferrite,

ﬁne-tuning its location, and other insignificant altera-

tions. Circulators may be replaced in the future, but the

underlying principles will prevail forever as it is an excel-

lent manifestation of our ability in harnessing the nature

for our beneﬁt.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

1. D. M. Pozar, Microwave Engineering, Addison-Wesley, Read-

ing, MA, 1990.

2. R. E. Collin, Field Theory of Guided Waves, 2nd ed., IEEE

Press, New York, 1991.

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6. D. K. Linkhart, Microwave Circulator Design, Artech House,

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7. R. A. Waldon, Ferrites: An Introduction for Microwave Engi-

neers, Van Nostrand, London, 1962.

8. F. Keffer, The Magnetic Properties of Materials, Freeman, San

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9. P. J. B. Clarricoats, Microwave Ferrites, Wiley, New York,

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10. R. B. Leighton, Principles of Modern Physics, McGraw-Hill,

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12. J. Helszajn, Ferrite Phase Shifters and Control Devices,

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14. C. E. Fay and R. L. Comstock, Operation of the ferrite junc-

tion circulator, IEEE Trans. Microwave Theory Tech. 1527

(Jan. 1965).

Figure 49. Strength and direction of the electric vector inside a

magnetized ferrite sphere. (This ﬁgure is available in full color at

http://www.mrw.interscience.wiley.com/erfme.)

Figure 50. Strength and direction of the electric vector in a

waveguide Y junction with a magnetized ferrite sphere. (This

ﬁgure is available in full color at http://www.mrw.interscience.

wiley.com/erfme.)

Figure 51. Strength and direction of the electric vector in a

waveguide Y junction with a demagnetized ferrite sphere. (This

ﬁgure is available in full color at http://www.mrw.interscience.

wiley.com/erfme.)

1472 FERRITE CIRCULATORS

15. J. Helszajn, Design data for radial waveguide circulators us-

ing partial height ferrite resonators, IEEE Trans. Microwave

Theory Tech. MTT-23(3):288–298 (March 1975).

16. J. Helszajn, Planar triangular resonators with magnetic

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waveguide Y-junction circular with a ferrite sphere for milli-

meter waves, IEEE Trans. Microwave Theory Tech. 44(3):454–

457 (March 1996).

18. H. Bosma, On stripline Y-circulators at UHF, IEEE Trans.

Microwave Theory Tech. 61–71 (Jan. 1964).

19. E. K. N. Yung, W. B. Dou, D. G. Zhang, and R. S. Chen,

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2001).

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crowave Theory Tech. MTT-13(6):852–864 (Nov. 1965).

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25. R. S. Chen. E. K. N. Yung, Z. M. Xie, and Y. Wang, FDTD

analysis of EM wave circulating a magnetized ferrite body in

free space, Int. J. Infrared Millimeter Wave 19(2):329–341

(Feb. 1998).

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and design of the Y-junction stripline circulator, IEEE Trans.

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and development of millimeter wave waveguide junction cir-

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Fang, Application of the SSOR preconditioned CG algorithm

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Theory Tech. 50(4):1165–1172 (April 2002).

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with SOC technique. Int. J. Electron. 89(10):771–790 (2002).

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plane waveguide junction circulators, IEEETrans. Microwave

Theory Tech. 21(6):392–403 (June 1973).

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erating at Ka-band utilizing M-type hexagonal ferrites, IEEE

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1992).

FERRITE ISOLATORS

B. BAYARD

B. SAUVIAC

D. VINCENT

Jean Monnet University

St. Etienne, France

1. ISOLATORS AND THEIR APPLICATIONS

The transmission of a radiofrequency or microwave signal

(above 1 GHz) along a line differs with that of a low-fre-

quency signal essentially in the fact that one of the di-

mensions of the line is greater than the wavelength. This

means that at a given time the instant value of the signal

varies along this dimension. Furthermore, the signal may

propagate along the line according to the opposite direc-

tions (forward and backward propagations).

The behavior of the wave is characterized by the map-

ping of the electric and magnetic ﬁelds. This mapping

depends on the geometry of the line as well as the con-

ductivity, the dielectric, and the magnetic constant of the

materials used in the structure. The characteristic imped-

ance is calculated from the mapping of the electric ﬁeld

and the magnetic ﬁeld; its value is often set at 50 O for

practical use.

If several kinds of lines are used to transmit a signal

from a source to a load, the electromagnetic ﬁeld map will

be different along each line. As a result, the signal will be

perturbed at each connection. The impedance mismatch

between two lines causes a return loss, that is, a reﬂection

of a part of the signal toward the source and a weaker

wave transmitted to the load. Since this reﬂection is un-

desirable and may be disruptive or even destructive, it has

to be eliminated by the use of an isolator.

Isolators are two-port circuits that allow the microwave

energy to propagate along a direction and stop it along the

opposite one (Fig. 1a). The ﬂow is restricted to one direc-

tion; hence any reﬂected energy at the load is trapped or

dissipated. Because the behavior of the isolator differs for

direct and reverse propagations, it is referred to as a non-

reciprocal device.

Operating frequencies above 10 GHz are currently the

higher limit for a correct functioning of active isolators or

circulators, not only because of the limited bandwidth of

semiconductors but also because of noise generation and

power dissipation. On the other hand, microwave ferrite

material can be regarded as a mature technology, and

their interesting anisotropic properties have been widely

exploited for passive nonreciprocal applications [1,2].

1.1. Applications

Isolators are intensively used in microwave communica-

tion systems. Their applications include the decoupling

between a generator and its load, the decoupling of several

ampliﬁers, and the combining of two or more transmitters.

1.1.1. Decoupling between Generator and Load. Gener-

ators are usually affected by any power coming back to

FERRITE ISOLATORS 1473

them, which may result in nonlinear effects such as fre-

quency shift and instability. To overcome these problems,

an isolator is used to eliminate the coupling between the

generator and the load as shown in Fig. 1b, where the

isolator attenuates only the backward wave and protects

the generator.

1.1.2. Decoupling of Ampliﬁer Stages. In applications

where ampliﬁers are connected in series, they can affect

each other in relation to their input impedance. The in-

ﬂuence increases if their working frequency band is nar-

row because their input impedance varies sharply. If

different ampliﬁer stages are decoupled by isolators as

shown in Fig. 1c, they can be tuned and adjusted without

affecting the others, and if one stage is unbalanced, the

others will not be overloaded.

1.1.3. Combination of Several Transmitters. A typical

emitter stage of a mobile phone base station includes

several transmitters working at different frequencies

(Fig. 1d). The signal of each transmitter passes through

an isolator, which has a low insertion loss, and a ﬁlter

centered on the transmitter’s frequency. It travels then to

the combiner. This lets the signal of each transmitter

travel to the antenna without disturbing the others.

1.2. Characteristics

A perfect isolator should transmit all the energy from port

1 to port 2, cut all the backward energy from port 2 to

port 1, and provide no reﬂection at port 1 and at port 2

(Fig. 2a).

The corresponding S parameters can be expressed in

the following matrix:

S

11

S

12

S

21

S

22

_ _

¼

0 0

1 0

_ _

ð1Þ

Actual isolators response is not so ideal (Fig. 2b), and

their speciﬁcation must take into account several funda-

mental parameters such as insertion loss, isolation,

and standing-wave ratio, as well as frequency band-

width, intermodulation, and thermal and power consider-

ations.

1.2.1. Insertion Loss. It corresponds to the neutrality

of the component in the forward direction and its magni-

tude must be close to the unity. When a signal is applied

to port 1, the insertion loss (IL) will be the ratio

of the input power (port 1) to the output power (port 2).

Typical values, expressed in decibels (dB), are between

0.1 and 1 dB and are calculated by the following

expression:

IL ðdBÞ ¼20 log

10

a

1

b

2

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¼ À20 log

10

jS

21

j\0 ð2Þ

1.2.2. Isolation. This corresponds to the ability of cut-

ting the backward wave. Its magnitude must reach high

values. When a signal is applied to port 2, the isolation (IS)

will be the ratio of the input power (port 2) to the output

power (port 1). Typical values, expressed in dB, are

between 20 and 30 dB and are calculated by the following

Port 1 Port 2

(a) (b)

generator isolator load

mismatch

amplifier isolator amplifier

(c)

(d)

circulator

to receiver

antenna

amplifiers

c

o

m

b

i

n

e

r

isolators

narrow-band

filters

broad-band

filter

Figure 1. Some applications of isolators: (a) cir-

cuit symbol; (b) decoupling of generator and load;

(c) decoupling of ampliﬁers; (d) combination of

transmitters.

1474 FERRITE ISOLATORS

expression:

IS ðdBÞ ¼20 log

10

a

2

b

1

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¼ À20 log

10

jS

12

jb0 ð3Þ

1.2.3. SWR. The standing-wave ratio (SWR) speciﬁes

how the input signal will be reﬂected back toward the

source. It depends directly on the magnitude of return loss

(R) at port 1, that is, the ratio of the incident power to the

reﬂected power. The SWR is always greater than one and

typical values are between 1.05 and 1.2, to maintain a

good impedance matching:

jRj ¼

b

1

a

1

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¼jS

11

j ’ 0 ð4Þ

SWR¼

1 þjRj

1 ÀjRj

\1 ð5Þ

1.2.4. Bandwidth. The operating bandwidth can be ex-

pressed as the difference between the high and low work-

ing frequencies divided by the center frequency multiplied

by 100 (percentage bandwidth). Various bandwidth values

are available according to the technology of the isolator,

but 10% is often presented.

1.2.5. Intermodulation. When nonlinear elements such

as ferrite materials are used, harmonics (2f

1

, 3f

1

, etc.) ap-

pear but can be easily eliminated thanks to their high

frequency value. However, in the case of several but close

frequencies (f

1

and f

2

), intermodulation rays appear

(2f

1

Àf

2

and 2f

2

Àf

1

) and their inﬂuence is qualiﬁed by a

third-order intermodulation product deﬁned as the ratio of

the intermodulation magnitude to the fundamental mag-

nitude.

1.2.6. Temperature Range. The operating temperature

range of an isolator is limited by the materials used in the

device, especially by ferrites. Magnetic materials indeed

exhibit nonlinear behaviors and frequency shift due to

temperature variation and become nonmagnetic above

their Curie temperature. Operating temperatures from

À20 to þ701C are common.

1.2.7. Power Dissipation. For low-power isolators, ex-

ceeding the power limit causes nonlinearity effects in the

ferrite material and provides a frequency shift and an in-

crease in the insertion loss. For high-power isolators, av-

erage power induces an increase of temperature and

cooling of the device is sometimes needed. The peak pow-

er should cause breakdown or arcking, which generally

results in permanent degradation of performance. Power

depends on the technology and can be limited from a few

watts (planar dropin isolators) to several hundred watts

(waveguide isolators). Acceptable average power decreas-

es with the working frequency. Peak power can reach sev-

eral kilowatts.

2. DEVICES

The ﬁrst experimental microwave ferrite device was dem-

onstrated in 1949. The development of this type of device

was strongly linked to ferrite materials preparation and to

the knowledge of spin interaction in ferrimagnetic mate-

rials [3–5].

The behavior of microwave ferrite devices is based on

the gyromagnetic property of ferrimagnetic materials.

Several effects can be exploited to provide nonreciprocal

propagation of the signal, such as Faraday rotation, fer-

romagnetic resonance, and ﬁeld displacement.

Many microwave components such as circulators, iso-

lators, phase shifters, or gyromagnetic ﬁlters are using

ferrite materials and are always essential because there is

no alternative semiconductor-based device that satisﬁes

similar requirements.

Furthermore, microwave technologies are moving to

higher frequencies, up to 100GHz, where high-resistivity

materials are needed so that ferrites remain the ﬁrst

choice and semiconductor materials are currently not

competitive.

2.1. Waveguide Isolators

The microwave applications of ferrites had their founda-

tions in the Faraday effects, and the ﬁrst devices were cir-

cular waveguide Faraday rotators. Then, rectangular

waveguide components were developed using resonance

absorption or ﬁeld displacement [6].

2.1.1. Faraday Rotation Isolator. The linear polarization

of a wave rotates if it propagates in a longitudinally

magnetized ferrite. This phenomenon, called Faraday

S

12

S

22

S

21

S

11

Port 1

Insertion loss

Isolation

Return loss

and SWR

Port 2

b

1

b

2

a

1

a

2

(a)

−50

−45

−40

−35

−30

−25

−20

−15

−10

−5

0

7 8 9 10 11 12

Return loss

(S11)

Isolation

(S12)

Insertion loss

(S21)

Bandwidth

Frequency (GHz)

T

r

a

n

s

m

i

s

s

i

o

n

(

d

B

)

(b)

Figure 2. Characteristics of an isolator: (a) S parameters;

(b) actual frequency response.

FERRITE ISOLATORS 1475

rotation, is nonreciprocal so that the polarization always

rotates in the same direction whatever the propagation

direction. The Faraday rotation can be used in an isolator

if waves are absorbed or not, according to the rotation of

their polarization. The device is made from a circular

waveguide containing a 451 rotator between two 451 shift-

ed rectangular waveguides. Absorbing sheets are placed in

rectangular-to-round waveguide transitions (Fig. 3).

The polarization of the electric ﬁeld of a wave entering

port 1 is parallel to the smallest side of the rectangular

waveguide so that it is normal to the ﬁrst resistive sheet

and is not affected by it. The polarization is rotated 451

clockwise by the rotator and becomes normal to the second

resistive sheet. The wave can therefore emerge without

attenuation.

In the reverse direction, a wave entering port 2 is ro-

tated 451 in the same direction (clockwise) so that the

electric polarization is parallel to the port 1 resistive

sheet. The wave is then absorbed and cannot propagate.

The average power that can be absorbed is limited by

resistive sheets. On the other hand, insertion loss and iso-

lation are improved if the magnitude of circular polariza-

tions is not affected by the rotator so that no perpendicular

polarization appears before resistive sheets.

2.1.2. Resonance Isolator. A circularly polarized wave

that penetrates into a magnetized ferrite may be absorbed

or not, according to its rotation direction. The effect is

maximum at the gyromagnetic resonance frequency of the

ferrite. This phenomenon can be used in a rectangular

waveguide where the polarization is circular at two dif-

ferent positions (Fig. 4). If a ferrite is placed at one of these

positions, the nonreciprocal absorption of the microwave

energy is used to make an isolator [7]. A transverse DC

ﬁeld is required to magnetize the ferrite.

The optimum position of the ferrite is chosen for a cir-

cular polarization of the internal microwave magnetic

ﬁeld. This position may however differ from that of the

empty guide because of the ferrite presence. Several fer-

rite shapes can be used (E-plane or H-plane resonance

isolator), but H-plane ferrite geometry, consisting of two

thin ﬂat ferrite rods, shows better performance. It has the

particular advantage of setting the ferrite rods against the

waveguide with a maximum contact area so that the ma-

terial can be cooled through the metal waveguide.

2.1.3. Field Displacement Isolator. In a partially ferrite-

ﬁlled waveguide, the microwave energy may be rejected

from the material according to its direction of propagation.

As a result, the microwave electric ﬁeld vanishes near the

ferrite for direct propagation direction and is maximum

for the reverse direction (Fig. 5).

If a resistive sheet is placed against the ferrite slab

where the difference of energy is maximum, it will have

little effect on the direct propagation, but there will be

strong absorption in the backward propagation.

As for resonance isolator, a transverse DC magnetic

ﬁeld is applied to the ferrite, but a lower intensity is re-

quired. This kind of isolator gives low insertion loss about

0.1 dB. It is well suited for low-power operations because

the resistive sheet cannot be cooled as it is not in contact

with the waveguide.

2.2. Planar Isolators

The development of planar circuits, fabricated by conven-

tional printed-circuit techniques, has liberated the micro-

wave designer from high costs and many constraints

encountered with waveguides and coaxial lines [8,9]. Fer-

rite devices were rapidly developed for stripline and mi-

crostrip circuits such as edge-guided-mode isolators or Y-

junction circulators.

2.2.1. Coplanar Resonance Isolator. The coplanar wave-

guide is a surface strip transmission line and consists of a

central conductor strip separated from ground planes by

two slots on a dielectric substrate [10]. At high frequen-

cies, the propagation in this structure is no longer TEM

(transverse electromagnetic) because a longitudinal

F

o

r

w

a

r

d

p

r

o

p

o

g

a

t

io

n

B

a

c

k

w

a

r

d

p

r

o

p

o

g

a

t

io

n

4

5

° F

a

r

a

d

a

y

r

o

t

a

t

o

r

R

e

s

is

tiv

e

s

h

e

e

t

R

e

s

is

tiv

e

s

h

e

e

t

Port 1

Port 2

Figure 3. Waveguide Faraday rotation isolator.

H-plane

E-plane

H

DC

Figure 4. Waveguide resonance isolator.

Forward

propogation

Reverse propogation

H

DC

Resistance sheet

Figure 5. Waveguide ﬁeld displacement isolator.

1476 FERRITE ISOLATORS

component of the microwave magnetic ﬁeld appears. Thus

the resulting elliptically polarized magnetic ﬁeld in the

slot can be used for nonreciprocal operations if it interacts

with a ferrite material. A resonant isolator can be fabri-

cated by attaching ferrite rods at the air–dielectric inter-

face between the conductors (Fig. 6). A horizontal

magnetic polarization is applied to the ferrite, perpendic-

ular to the microwave elliptic polarization plane.

This device will show better performances if the micro-

wave polarization is circular. High insertion loss and mod-

erate isolation values are the consequences of an

ellipticity different from unity. However, since the domi-

nant propagation mode is TEM, the microwave polariza-

tion will never be circular but the ellipticity could be

improved under one of these conditions: a higher permit-

tivity substrate, wider strip and slots dimensions, or a

higher working frequency [11].

2.2.2. Stripline Resonance Isolator. TEM transmission

lines are not suitable for nonreciprocal devices because

there is no longitudinal component of the microwave mag-

netic ﬁeld. However, the line may be antisymmetrically

loaded with a dielectric material so that a longitudinal

ﬁeld appears according to Maxwell’s equations and bound-

ary conditions [6]. Ferrite rods are placed near the air–

dielectric interface, where the longitudinal ﬁeld is higher.

A longitudinal magnetic ﬁeld is required to obtain an el-

liptic polarization such as that in the device described

above as it will interact with the magnetic rods to provide

nonreciprocal attenuation of the signal. Figure 7 shows

ferrite isolators based on a coaxial line and a stripline.

They are both half-ﬁlled with a dielectric material and

contain vertically magnetized ferrite rods. The nonrecip-

rocal effect is maximum at the ferrite resonance as in the

case of the coplanar isolator.

2.2.3. Coupled Microstrip Line Isolator. The coupling be-

tween two microstrip lines on a ferrite substrate is non-

reciprocal if the gyrotropic material is magnetized [12].

The nonreciprocal effect is a differential phase shift be-

tween S

12

and S

21

that can be used to create an isolator.

The coupling length is adjusted so that the direct signal at

one port is coupled to the other line and the reverse one is

not delivered to the ﬁrst line. External matching loads are

placed at the end of each line to absorb reﬂected power

(Fig. 8).

2.2.4. Microstrip Edge-Guided-Mode Isolator. A micro-

strip or a stripline using a ferrite substrate, with a mag-

netization normal to the ground plane, with a wide strip

conductor, shows an exponential ﬁeld variation of the

dominant mode along the device width (Fig. 9). This ﬁeld

displacement effect is nonreciprocal as it is reversed for

each direction of wave propagation and for opposite mag-

netic polarizations [13]. The energy is concentrated near

opposite edges of the component and may be dissipated in

the reverse propagation direction by placing an absorbing

ﬁlm on one edge of the strip.

The ﬁeld displacement is caused by the gyromagnetic

properties of the ferrite, which is magnetized below the

resonance in the low-loss region. The device therefore

shows better performance with a low ﬁeld bias. On the

other hand, the use of a strip much wider than the sub-

strate thickness produces a low characteristic impedance

so that suitable impedance transformers are required for

approximate matching to 50-O-impedance lines.

Because the presence of the absorber should provide

insertion loss, several improvements were proposed. The

absorbing ﬁlm can be replaced by a short circuit of one

edge of the strip with the ground plane. The addition of an

iron plate near the short circuit provides a strong inter-

action with the magnetic ﬁeld that improves the nonre-

ciprocal effect [14].

2.2.5. Sawtooth Edge-Mode Isolator. Other authors sug-

gested printing the wide strip with a slots on its edge

without absorber [15]. The direct wave is not affected by

the slot discontinuity, while the reverse one is reﬂected

by this effective open circuit and dissipates in the ferrite

substrate. This device is strictly planar and requires no

absorber.

c

r

H

DC

Ferrite rods

Dielectric substrate

Figure 6. Coplanar resonance isolator.

H

DC

H

DC

Ferrite

rods

c

r

c

r

Figure 7. Coaxial and stripline resonance isolator. (From [10]; r

1969 IEEE, reproduced with permission.)

H

DC

Ferrite substrate

Port 2

Port 1

Matching loads

Figure 8. Coupled microstrip-line isolator.

H

DC

H

DC

Absorber

Reverse

Port 2 Port 1

Forward

Ferrite

substrate

Impedance

Transformers

Figure 9. Microstrip edge-guided-mode isolator. (From [13]; r

1971 IEEE, reproduced with permission.)

FERRITE ISOLATORS 1477

To improve the bandwidth, a multislot (sawtooth) con-

ﬁguration is used and a lossy material covers only the saw-

tooth to reduce insertion loss (Fig. 10). The behavior of the

device can be tuned by varying the size of those slots; iso-

lation is increased with a large sawtooth design, while low

insertion loss is obtained with a small sawtooth design [16].

2.2.6. Slotline Field Displacement Isolator. It is also pos-

sible to obtain a nonreciprocal ﬁeld displacement in a fer-

rite-loaded slotline (Fig. 11). If a horizontal static

magnetic ﬁeld is applied, the energy travels along each

side of the ferrite according to the propagation direction

[17]. Thus the presence of an absorbing material at the

bottom of the ferrite provides the isolation. An alumina

substrate may be placed between the ferrite and the lines

to reduce the insertion losses of the device. The main

drawback of such a structure is the transition between the

slotline and a coaxial line (or other lines) at each port of

the device that provides mismatch losses. The same kind

of device can be built using a ﬁnline structure [18].

2.2.7. Circulator-Based Isolator. One of the most popu-

lar planar isolators proposed by manufacturers for

low-power applications is based on a three-port circulator

by adding a matching termination to one port. A usual

form consists of a stripline symmetric Y junction with a

circular center conductor surrounded with two ferrite

disks (Fig. 12). The circular junction behaves like a reso-

nant cavity with two contrarotating modes resulting in a

standing wave. If a static magnetic ﬁeld is applied per-

pendicularly to the disks, the resonant frequencies of the

two modes are different. The pattern of the standing wave

is therefore rotated so that the third port is isolated while

the others are coupled [19].

The easy fabrication and the good performance of the Y-

junction circulator make this miniature nonreciprocal de-

vice one of the most widely used, as a circulator as well as

an isolator.

3. NONRECIPROCAL EFFECTS

The functioning of passive microwave isolators is based on

ferromagnetic resonance properties of ferrite materials.

Magnetized ferrites are indeed anisotropic and character-

ized by an antisymmetric permeability tensor, which is

necessary to obtain nonreciprocal effects such as isolation.

Most passive magnetic devices need a saturated state of

the ferrite or at least a magnetic polarization that is per-

formed by permanent magnets or magnetic coils.

3.1. Ferromagnetic Resonance

To understand the origin of the anisotropy, the interaction

between magnetic moments of the ferrite and a magnetic

ﬁeld needs to be studied.

3.1.1. Magnetic Units. The current ferrite literature

still uses cgs units (centimeter, gram, second) for histor-

ical reasons. Therefore, conversions between this system

and SI units (meter, kilogram, second, ampere) frequently

have to be performed.

In the SI system, the following relations correspond to

the response of a material (M and B) immersed in an ap-

plied ﬁeld (H)

wH¼M¼

dm

dV

ð6Þ

B¼m

0

ðHþMÞ ¼m

0

Hð1 þwÞ ¼m

0

m

r

H ð7Þ

The ratio of the magnetization to the applied ﬁeld is

the susceptibility (6), and the ratio of the induction to

the ﬁeld is the permeability (7). The susceptibility van-

ishes and the relative permeability equals one for

nonmagnetic materials. In the case of anisotropic materi-

als, induction, magnetization, and applied ﬁeld are not

parallel and the susceptibility as well as the permeability

become tensorial.

H

DC

Port 2 Port 1

Optional

absorber

Slots

Figure 10. Sawtooth edge-mode isolator. (From [16]; r 2001

IEEE, reproduced with permission.)

Forward

Reverse

Energy

distribution

H

DC

Air

Alumina

Ferrite

Absorber

Figure 11. Slotline ﬁeld displacement isolator. (From [17]; r

1975 IEEE, reproduced with permission.)

Ferrite

H

DC

1

2

Ground

Ground

Conductor

Ferrite

Port 1 Port 2

Transmission

Isolation

Port 3

Matching termination

Figure 12. Circulator-based isolator. (From [24]; r 1965 IEEE,

reproduced with permission.)

1478 FERRITE ISOLATORS

In the cgs system, vacuum permeability is set at the

unity and (7) must be written as follows

B¼Hþ4pM ð8Þ

and the conversion between cgs and SI units are [20]

1 A=m¼4p10

À3

Oe magnetic field ðHÞ ð9Þ

1 A=m¼10

À3

emu=cm

3

magnetization ðMÞ ð10Þ

1 T¼10

4

G induction ðBÞ ð11Þ

3.1.2. Static Magnetic Field. When a static magnetic

ﬁeld (H

0

) is applied to a magnetic material, its magnetic

moments (m) and the corresponding magnetization (M)

for a given volume precess around the ﬁeld axis with an

angular velocity proportional to the magnitude of the ﬁeld

(Fig. 13a). This phenomenon, called Larmor’s precession,

is governed by the following relations, which give the gy-

romagnetic equation of motion, the angular velocity, and

the gyromagnetic ratio, respectively:

dm

dt

¼ Àgm

0

ðmÂH

0

Þ ð12Þ

o

0

¼gm

0

H

0

ð13Þ

g ¼176 10

9

rad s

À1

T

À1

ð,28 GHz=TÞ ð14Þ

3.1.3. Microwave Field. If, in addition, the material is

submitted to a microwave ﬁeld (h) perpendicular to the

static one, the magnetic moments tend to precess around a

total ﬁeld that oscillates (Fig. 13b). When the angular ve-

locity of the moments reaches the frequency of microwave

oscillations, the microwave energy is transmitted to the

material and absorbed.

3.1.4. Polder’s Model. After taking into account the mi-

crowave ﬁeld, the spectral expression of the equation of

motion leads to a relative permeability tensor:

" mm

r

¼

m

r

0 þjk

0 1 0

Àjk 0 m

r

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

ð15Þ

This tensor is used for a y-axis applied ﬁeld (xy, yx, yz, and

zy elements vanish) and for a saturated material (yy ele-

ment is equal to 1). The presence of the imaginary number

j corresponds to the rotation of the moments; that is, there

is a 901 phase difference between m

x

and m

z

.

The elements of the permeability tensor depend on the

frequency

m

r

¼1þ

o

0

o

M

o

2

0

Ào

2

ð16Þ

k¼

oo

M

o

2

0

Ào

2

ð17Þ

o

M

¼gm

0

M

S

ð18Þ

and they both depend on the magnitude of the applied

ﬁeld (13) and on the saturation magnetization of the ma-

terial (18).

3.1.5. Damping Factor. If losses are taken into account,

the angle between m and H

0

will decrease until these el-

ements are aligned (Fig. 13c). Tensor elements become

complex quantities, and a damping parameter is intro-

duced in (16) and (17):

m

r

¼m

0

r

Àjm

00

r

¼1 þ

ðo

0

þjaoÞ o

M

ðo

0

þjaoÞ

2

Ào

2

ð19Þ

k ¼k

0

Àjk

00

¼

oo

M

ðo

0

þjaoÞ

2

Ào

2

ð20Þ

The real and imaginary parts of the elements of the

permeability tensor are shown in Fig. 14 for a 180mT sat-

uration magnetization and 0.1 damping factor. Figure 14a

shows a frequency sweep with a ﬁxed applied ﬁeld, which

is currently the most common representation, thanks to

vector analyzer measurements facilities. For historical

reasons, Fig. 14b is the most widely known representa-

tion because it was previously easier to work with a single-

frequency microwave source and to vary the applied ﬁeld

by adjusting a continuous current.

According to Fig. 14b, the resonance losses are charac-

terized by the width of the imaginary part, which increas-

es for lossy materials. The width at midheight of the curve

is called linewidth and is frequently used by manufactur-

ers (often expressed in oersteds). It depends on the dam-

ping factor and on the working frequency:

gm

0

DH¼2ao ð21Þ

Figure 14b also shows three different zones according to

the magnitude of the applied ﬁeld. The expressions below,

above, or at resonance refer to a ﬁeld sweep and not to a

frequency sweep. The confusion could be reinforced if the

static ﬁeld were expressed as a frequency as in (13).

Polder’s model is deﬁned for saturated material so that

the magnetization of the ferrite reaches the saturation

magnetization. Under particular operation conditions

such as low bias ﬁelds, several magnetic domains with

different magnetization magnitudes and orientations are

m

(a) (b) (c)

H

0

m

h

H

0

H

0

+h

m

H

0

o

o

0

o

0

o

0

Figure 13. Precession of ferrite moments under an applied ﬁeld:

(a) static applied ﬁeld; (b) static and microwave applied ﬁelds; (c)

with losses.

FERRITE ISOLATORS 1479

present. Therefore new models must be used to take into

account the resulting effects on the gyromagnetic phenom-

enon [21].

3.1.6. Demagnetizing Factors. All the previous deﬁni-

tions concern materials inﬂuenced by an internal magnet-

ic ﬁeld, that is, the actual ﬁeld experienced by the spin

dipoles. In a inﬁnite medium, the internal ﬁeld equals the

applied ﬁeld, but in the case of a ﬁnite medium, there is a

discontinuity of the magnetic ﬁeld at the boundary be-

tween materials with different permeability values. De-

termining the ﬁeld inside an arbitrarily shaped sample is

not always possible, but the problem is tractable for an

approximate ellipsoidal shape. Thus, the internal ﬁeld can

be expressed from the applied ﬁeld as follows

H

i

¼H

0

ÀNM ð22Þ

N¼

N

x

0 0

0 N

y

0

0 0 N

z

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

ð23Þ

where the demagnetizing factors, N

x

, N

y

, and N

z

, depend

on the shape of the sample. The sum of these terms are

equal to one. Each term equals

1

3

in the case of a sphere;

the term tends to zero if the corresponding size increases

and to one if it becomes thinner. Several approximations

have been calculated and are helpful in estimating inter-

nal ﬁelds for arbitrary shapes [22].

Since the demagnetizing factors concern static and mi-

crowave ﬁelds, the tensor elements are dramatically

changed and the resonant frequency is given by Kittel’s

equation for a z-direction applied ﬁeld:

o

r

¼gm

0

ﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ

½H

0

þðN

x

ÀN

z

ÞM½H

0

þðN

y

ÀN

z

ÞM

_

ð24Þ

3.2. Nonreciprocal Wave Propagation

Because waveguide or planar conﬁgurations are difﬁcult

to solve, nonreciprocal effects in ferrites can be more ele-

mentarily understood by considering the microwave prop-

agation in inﬁnite media. Maxwell’s equations can be

combined to include the permeability tensor and, consid-

ering a propagation along the z axis, it gives

rÂrÂHÀo

2

e

0

m

0

e

r

" mm

r

H¼0 ð25Þ

H¼h expðjotÞ expðÀgzÞ ð26Þ

where

g ¼a þjb¼j

o

c

ﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ

e

e

m

e

p

ð27Þ

is the propagation coefﬁcient that represents both the at-

tenuation and the phase delay of the signal. In an inﬁnite

medium, they depend on the effective permittivity and

permeability of the material.

According to the direction of the static magnetic ﬁeld,

which ﬁlls the permeability tensor (15) in different ways,

several phenomena on the effective permeability and on

the propagation occur.

3.2.1. Longitudinal Field. If a static magnetic ﬁeld is

applied parallel to the propagation direction (z axis), then

(25) leads to an eigenproblem where the eigenvalues are

m

þ

¼m

r

þk ð28Þ

m

À

¼m

r

Àk ð29Þ

These associated eigenvectors are respectively a right-

hand circular polarized magnetic ﬁeld for (28) and a left-

hand polarization for (29). This means that the microwave

must be decomposed according to these two polarizations

and each part propagates with the corresponding effective

permeability.

The effective permeability values, obtained from Fig. 14b,

are plotted versus the applied ﬁeld in Fig. 15a. In an in-

ﬁnite medium, the propagation coefﬁcients of the corre-

sponding plane wave are given by

g

Æ

¼j

o

c

ﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ

e

r

m

Æ

p

¼j

o

c

ﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ

e

r

ðm

r

ÆkÞ

_

ð30Þ

−3

−2

−1

0

1

2

3

4

5

2 4 6 8 10

Frequency (GHz)

(a)

«

″

«

′

j

′

j

″

(b)

−3

−2

−1

0

1

2

3

4

5

5 0 100 150 200

H0(kA/m)

250 300

∆H

«

″

«

′

j

′

j

″

Below

Above

resonance

resonance

Figure 14. Ferromagnetic resonance; real and imaginary parts

of the elements of the permeability tensor: (a) frequency sweep

and 150kA/m applied ﬁeld; (b) ﬁeld magnitude sweep and 5 GHz

frequency.

1480 FERRITE ISOLATORS

and are plotted in Fig. 15b. Since real parts and imaginary

parts are all different, nonreciprocal effects can be ob-

tained not only for absorption but also for phase.

3.2.2. Transverse Field. If the permeability tensor is

ﬁlled according to a perpendicular ﬁeld (x or y axis), prop-

agation will occur with two effective permeability values

m

þ

¼

m

2

r

Àk

2

m

r

ð31Þ

m

À

¼1 ð32Þ

The eigen vectors are now linear polarizations. Perme-

ability values and propagation coefﬁcients are plotted in

Fig. 16. Nonreciprocal effects are also possible.

Although the explanations above are deﬁned for plane

waves (without longitudinal ﬁeld components), they can

be generalized for cases of propagation in waveguides or

planar lines where longitudinal ﬁelds (non-TEM modes)

appear.

3.2.3. Faraday Rotation. Figure 15b shows different

values of the phase delay. If a linearly polarized incident

microwave ﬁeld is decomposed in both right-hand and left-

hand circular polarizations, each part will be differently

phase-shifted for a given distance (Fig. 17). Then the com-

bination of the two emerging circular polarizations (with

the same magnitude) gives a linear polarization with a

rotation equal to the half phase difference:

y ¼

Df

2

¼

b

À

Àb

þ

2

L ð33Þ

The rotation is nonreciprocal. The polarizations of back-

ward and forward waves rotate in opposite directions (re-

spectively to the left or to the right) according to their own

coordinate system because the applied ﬁeld is inverted. As

a result, rotations are in the same direction according to

the ferrite axes.

Faraday rotation should be performed for low ﬁeld

values where losses are weak to ensure that the circular

magnitudes are not attenuated and the emerging

−6

−4

−2

0

2

4

6

8

10

12

50 100 150 200 250 300

H0(kA/m)

(a)

j+

″

j+

′

j−

′

j−

″

H0(kA/m)

(b)

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

0 50 100 150 200 250 300

[−

[+

:−

:+

Figure 15. Microwave propagation parallel to the applied ﬁeld:

(a) effective permeability values; (b) nonreciprocal propagation

coefﬁcients.

−4

−2

0

2

4

6

8

50 100 150 200 250

H0(kA/m)

(a)

300

j+

″

j+

′

j−

′

j−

″

H0(kA/m)

(b)

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

0 50 100 150 200 250 300

[−

[+

:−

:+

Figure 16. Microwave propagation perpendicular to the applied

ﬁeld: (a) effective permeability values; (b) nonreciprocal propaga-

tion coefﬁcients.

incident wave

emerging

L

wave

H

0

a

p

p

lie

d

f

ie

ld

f

e

r

r

it

e

φ

−

=β

−

L φ

+

=β

+

L

∆φ = 0

θ

θ = 0

Figure 17. Faraday rotation of a linearly polarized wave.

FERRITE ISOLATORS 1481

polarization remains linear. The nonreciprocal rotation

effect, similar to the behavior of Faraday rotation in opti-

cal media, was the ﬁrst phenomenon exploited in micro-

wave ferrite devices and is widely used to build circulators

or isolators as shown in Fig. 3.

3.2.4. Resonance Absorption. Figures 15b and 16b both

show nonreciprocal absorption according to the polariza-

tion of the wave. Losses are added in (28) and vanish in

(29), where the imaginary part of the effective permeabil-

ity is nearly zero regardless of the applied ﬁeld. The max-

imum nonreciprocal attenuation occurs at the resonance

where phases are equal.

In the ﬁrst conﬁguration, a left-hand circular polariza-

tion is absorbed while a right-hand polarization can prop-

agate. If the polarization of the incident wave is elliptic,

the attenuation depends on whether the magnitude of

the right-hand circular polarization is maximum or not

(Fig. 18).

In the second conﬁguration, a linearly polarized micro-

wave magnetic ﬁeld parallel to the static ﬁeld does not

interact with the ferrite and the wave propagates in the

same way as in a dielectric material. On the other hand, a

polarization perpendicular to the applied ﬁeld is strongly

absorbed.

The resonance absorption is widely used in devices

where a longitudinal magnetic ﬁeld exists. If longitudinal

and transverse ﬁelds are 901 phase-shifted, then they form

an elliptic polarization that can interact with the rotation

of the moments in a ferrite. The material must be mag-

netized perpendicular to the plane where the microwave

polarization and the magnetic moments rotate. If longitu-

dinal and transverse magnitudes are equal, the polariza-

tion becomes circular and effects are maximum. This

conﬁguration is used in rectangular waveguide resonance

isolators (Fig. 4) and in coplanar and stripline isolators

(Figs. 6 and 7).

3.2.5. Transverse Field Displacement. The negative

value of the effective permeability, in Figs. 15b and 16b,

implies that the microwave ﬁeld is rejected from the ma-

terial, while the other permeability allows the wave to

penetrate. If a waveguide is partially ﬁlled with a ferrite

material and if the case of a negative permeability occurs,

the energy therefore propagates in the empty region. This

phenomenon is a form of ﬁeld displacement and is used in

the rectangular waveguide isolator described in Fig. 5.

Another conﬁguration where ﬁeld displacement can be

observed is the case of two wide strips separated by a fer-

rite substrate. In this type of structure, only TE modes are

considered because TM modes cannot exist between par-

allel strips when the spacing is less than a half-wave-

length [13].

The ﬁeld components can be expressed as follows

E

x

; H

y

; H

z

¼A

x;y;z

expðÀa

y

yÞ expðÀjb

z

zÞ ð34Þ

where the propagation coefﬁcients depend on the elements

of the permeability tensor:

b

z

¼o

ﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ

m

0

e

0

e

r

m

r

p

ð35Þ

a

y

¼o

k

m

r

ﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ

m

0

e

0

e

r

m

r

p

ð36Þ

The corresponding wave can therefore propagate along

the z axis (purely imaginary coefﬁcient in the propagation

direction) while it is attenuated along the y axis (purely

real coefﬁcient along the width), so that the ﬁeld magni-

tudes decrease exponentially along the width. This is the

edge-guided mode (Fig. 19). The phenomenon is more ef-

ﬁcient if the material is magnetized below the resonance

with a weak internal ﬁeld to avoid losses, just enough for

the saturation.

If the applied ﬁeld is inverted, the sign of the attenu-

ation is changed and the exponential decay is inverted.

a=10

b = 5

A

left

= 0

A

right

= 7.5

A

right

= 7.5

A

right

= 7.5

A

left

= 2.5

A

left

= 2.5

A

left

= 2.5

A

right

= 0

strong

absorption

weak

absorption

imperfect transmission

insertion loss

a = 10

b = 5

strong

absorption

weak

absorption

imperfect isolation

Figure 18. Resonance absorption of left-hand and right-hand polarizations.

1482 FERRITE ISOLATORS

The same changes occur for a reverse propagation.

The ﬁeld displacement is therefore nonreciprocal and

can be used to build a stripline or a microstrip isolator

by adding an absorber on one edge as shown in Fig. 9. For

high frequencies, other modes of propagation with a sinu-

soidal pattern can exist. As a result, the ﬁeld displace-

ment, corresponding to the edge-guided mode, is

frequency-limited.

3.2.6. Ferrite Junction Circulation. A ferrite disk placed

between two conducting planes is a geometry of planar

junction circulator. Electric ﬁelds are supposedly mainly

perpendicular to the conductors and the boundary condi-

tions lead to two different conﬁgurations of electromag-

netic waves: right-handed and left-handed rotating waves.

A standing-wave pattern is established where ﬁelds in-

tensities are equal and oppositely directed on either side of

the conductor (Fig. 20).

For an isotropic substrate (or unmagnetized ferrite),

the corresponding effective indices where the rotating

waves propagate are equal. The standing wave intensity

is maximum at the input port (port 1), and vanishes at 901

from the input port. As a consequence, a small amount of

energy is coupled to ports 2 and 3.

For a gyrotropic substrate (magnetized ferrite), the two

rotating modes are oppositely phase-shifted so that a ro-

tation of the electromagnetic pattern occurs. If the rota-

tion reaches 301, port 2 is then coupled (transmission) and

port 3 is isolated [23].

In this case, the effective permeability is given by

m

e

¼

m

2

r

Àk

2

m

r

ð37Þ

and the solutions of the electromagnetic equations give

magnetic microwave ﬁelds [24] proportional to

A

þ

¼J

nÀ1

ðkrÞ À

J

n

ðkrÞ

kr

1 þ

k

m

_ _

ð38Þ

A

À

¼J

nÀ1

ðkrÞ À

J

n

ðkrÞ

kr

1 À

k

m

_ _

ð39Þ

where J

n

are nth-order Bessel functions, and where

k

2

¼o

2

e

0

m

0

e

r

m

e

ð40Þ

is the wavenumber associated with the effective perme-

ability and r is the distance to the center of the ferrite disk.

The ﬁrst modes (n¼1) show two opposite areas of maxi-

mum energy as in Fig. 20. The positive and negative ro-

tating modes are strongly linked to the ratio of the terms

of the ferrite permeability tensor and differ in sign.

Magnetic ﬁelds vanish at the boundaries (magnetic

wall if r equals the radius). Magnitudes (38) and (39) are

then equal to zero, and their solutions lead to the radius of

the ferrite disk for given working frequency and perme-

ability tensor.

The input impedance of each port can be adjusted with

the thickness of the disk, and the width of the access strip

and can be improved by an impedance transformer.

The best performance is obtained above the resonance

(according to the applied ﬁeld, that is, at low frequencies),

but the circulator can also operate below resonance [25].

The rotation is then inverted because the sign of the ratio

is changed.

One of the most popular structure is the stripline Y-

junction circulator with two ferrite disks (Fig. 12).

3.3. Ferrite Materials

Microwave ferrites are high-resistivity ferrimagnetic ma-

terials used at frequencies above 0.1GHz. They are ferri-

magnetic oxides made of oxygen anions around metal

(such as iron) divalent or trivalent cations [26]. The pos-

sibility of mixing the composition to adjust their behavior

is one very attractive property of ferrites. If a divalent iron

cation is replaced by any divalent composition, it gives a

mixed ferrite with sometimes completely different proper-

ties. In addition, the substitution of a trivalent iron cation

H

DC

Ferrite

Edge-guided mode Higher mode

Figure 19. Field displacement and edge-guided mode. (From

[13]; r 1971 IEEE, reproduced with permission.)

Port 1

Input Input

Port 3

Port 2

H

DC

= 0

Port 1

Port 3

Isolation

30°

Transmission

Magnetized ferrite Unmagnetized ferrite

Port 2

H

DC

Figure 20. Ferrite junction circulation. (From

[24]; r 1965 IEEE, reproduced with permis-

sion.)

FERRITE ISOLATORS 1483

gives a substituted ferrite whose behavior can be thinly

adjusted.

3.3.1. Properties. Although ferrites usually show weak-

er performance than do magnetic metals, they are highly

resistive, so that an electromagnetic wave can penetrate

and interact with the material. Their resistivity can in-

deed vary between 10 and 10

8

OÁ cm, a value that must be

compared to the 10

À4

OÁ cm resistivity of ferromagnetic

metals. The relative dielectric permittivity of ferrites is

almost constant at microwave frequencies and close to 15.

Dielectric losses result mainly from the existence of both

trivalent and divalent iron cations. There is an excess of

electrons that may jump from one iron cation to another

and therefore cause some conduction and losses.

A fundamental property such as permeability has to be

considered because it governs the interaction between the

wave and the material. Low coercivity is a condition for

low losses. High Curie temperature and low magneto-

striction constant are the main factors in improving the

stability of ferrites. High saturation magnetization implies

high gyromagnetic anisotropy but also intense magnetic

ﬁeld to saturate the material.

3.3.2. Spinels. Historically, spinel ferrites were the ﬁrst

type of ferrite used in microwave devices, in the 3–30 GHz

range. The typical composition of a spinel ferrite is as

follows:

ðFe

2 þ

O

2À

Þ

.

ðFe

3þ

2

O

2À

3

Þ ¼Fe

3

O

4

ð41Þ

Nickel mixed ferrite has a Curie temperature of about

5701C and is therefore rather stable. Its saturation mag-

netization is about 320mT. Because it contains Ni ion,

which is a relaxing ion, the spinel ferrite is a lossy mate-

rial reserved for power applications. Lower magnetiza-

tions (down to 140mT) are obtained by aluminium

substitution for iron, while partial substitution of zinc

for nickel increases the saturation magnetization

(480 mT) at a lower temperature (4001C).

Lithium ferrite has a magnetization of about 360mT

with a high Curie temperature near 6451C. The lack of

divalent iron ions results in a narrow linewidth that ren-

ders this ferrite suitable for low power levels with low

losses. Magnetization can be decreased (down to 230mT)

by Ti substitution and increased by Zn substitution

(500 mT).

3.3.3. Garnets. Yttrium iron Garnet (YIG) is a very-

narrow-linewidth material (near 3kA/m, compared to 15–

35 kA/m of spinels) that remains the best microwave ma-

terial in the 1–10-GHz band. It can easily be saturated

thanks to its weak saturation magnetization (175 mT). As

the Curie temperature of YIG is 2861C, the stability with

temperature is low. The chemical formula is

3

2

ðY

3 þ

2

O

2À

3

Þ

.

5

2

ðFe

3þ

2

O

2À

3

Þ ¼Y

3

Fe

5

O

12

ð42Þ

Aluminum substitution of iron ions decreases the magne-

tization as well as the Curie temperature, while Gd sub-

stitution of Y ions reduces the magnetization without

changing this temperature, which results in a better sta-

bility. Narrow linewidth as low as 0.8kA/m can be ob-

tained with In or Zn substitutions (associated with Ca

ions).

3.3.4. Hexaferrites. These materials have an hexagonal

structure with a c axis of symmetry. Their crystalline

structure is essentially uniaxial of the M-type with the

following formula

ðBa

2 þ

O

2À

Þ

.

6ðFe

3 þ

2

O

2À

3

Þ ¼BaFe

12

O

19

ð43Þ

for barium (BaM) or strontium (SrM) hexaferrites. They

have a high saturation magnetization (480 mT) and a Cu-

rie temperature as high as 7001C.

They also have a high magnetocrystalline anisotropy,

which results in an anisotropy ﬁeld H

a

(mainly near

1500 kA/m and up to 2700 kA/m) that can be added to

the internal ﬁeld to reach resonance frequencies higher

than (24)

o

r

¼gm

0

ﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ

½H

0

þH

a

þðN

x

ÀN

z

ÞM½H

0

þH

a

þðN

y

ÀN

z

ÞM

_

ð44Þ

They are also characterized by a squared hysteresis loop

with high remanence that allows a self-polarization of the

material.

4. CURRENT DEVELOPMENTS

The manufacturing of ferrite materials is difﬁcult, espe-

cially for small dimensions. These constraints do not make

this kind of components easy to integrate or to miniatur-

ize. Several ways of improving the performance and com-

pactness of ferrite devices are proposed [27,28].

In order to reduce the size of the devices, some authors

propose using hard magnetic materials with high reman-

ence so that no external ﬁeld is needed. Hexagonal ferrites

such as SrM (315 mT saturation magnetization and

1500 kA/m anisotropy ﬁeld) were successfully used in a

33-GHz rectangular waveguide circulator [29]. A 30-GHz

self-biased microstrip circulator using a 130-mm-thick

SrM substrate were realized [30]. Another interesting

property of this material is its high crystalline anisotro-

py, which can be added to the internal ﬁeld so that the

resonance occurs at higher frequencies, above 10 GHz and

up to 90 GHz.

In the case of thin ferrite plates, ohmic losses caused by

metal resistivity may become the main contribution to to-

tal loss. To overcome this effect, the integration of super-

conductive materials in ferrite microwave devices has

been investigated and its feasibility has been demonstrat-

ed in the case of a 10-GHz ring network circulator made of

niobium or YBaCuO superconductors cooled to 77 and 4K

[31]. The same criteria are considered for the choice of

ferrite material at either cryogenic temperature or at

room temperature with, however, higher saturation mag-

netization values.

1484 FERRITE ISOLATORS

The main issue of current research is the integration of

ferrite devices with semiconductor technologies. Several

attempts at depositing ferrite ﬁlms on silicon substrates

were performed using pulsed laser deposition, evapora-

tion, or sputtering [32]. Since the deposited ﬁlm is amor-

phous and nonmagnetic, a thermal process is needed to

recover ferrimagnetic properties. High temperature val-

ues above 6001C are required, either during the deposition

process or during a postdeposition annealing, in order to

crystalize the material.

It may be possible to use a semiconductor to make a

millimeter-wave isolator or circulator instead of a ferrite

because its permittivity becomes tensorial if a static mag-

netic ﬁeld is applied. This phenomenon is the dual of per-

meability tensor of ferrites. A 60-GHz circulator was

demonstrated experimentally using an n-type indium

antimonide (InSb) disk at an operating temperature of

77 K [33].

Isolator structures can also be used as a microwave

measurement technique for determination of the complex

permeability tensor components of magnetized materials.

A microstrip measurement cell based on Fig. 19 was real-

ized and provided measurements up to 6 GHz [34]. The

central zone between the strip and lower ground plane is

ﬁlled with the ferrite, and two different dielectric materi-

als are placed on each side to provide a nonreciprocal effect

necessary to extract all the tensor components.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

1. K. Chang, ed., Handbook of Microwave and Optical Compo-

nents, Vol. 1, Wiley, New York, 1989.

2. J. D. Adam, E. L. Davis, G. F. Dionne, E. F. Schloemann, and

S. N. Stitzer, Ferrite devices and materials, IEEE Trans. Mi-

crowave Theory Tech. 50(3):721–737 (March 2002).

3. K. J. Button, Microwave ferrite devices: The ﬁrst ten years,

IEEE Trans. Microwave Theory Tech. 32(9):1088–1096 (Sept.

1984).

4. R. H. Knerr, An annotated bibliography of microwave circu-

lators and isolators: 1968–1975, IEEE Trans. Microwave The-

ory Tech. 23(10):818–825 (Oct. 1975).

5. G. P. Rodrigue, A generation of microwave ferrite devices,

Proc. IEEE 76(2):121–137 (Feb. 1988).

6. B. Lax and K. J. Button, Microwave Ferrites and Ferromag-

netics, McGraw-Hill, New York, 1962.

7. F. E. Gardiol, Anisotropic slabs in rectangular waveguides,

IEEE Trans. Microwave Theory Tech. 8(18):461–467 (1970).

8. K. C. Gupta, R. Garg, I. J. Bahl, and P. Bhartia, Microstrip

Lines and Slotlines, 2nd ed., Artech House, Boston, 1996.

9. R. M. Barrett, Microwave printed circuits—the early years,

IEEE Trans. Microwave Theory Tech. 32(9):983–990 (Sept.

1984).

10. C. P. Wen, Coplanar waveguide: A surface strip transmission

line suitable for non-reciprocal gyromagnetic device applica-

tion, IEEE Trans. Microwave Theory Tech. 17(2):1087–1090

(Dec. 1969).

11. B. Bayard, D. Vincent, C. R. Simovski, and G. Noyel, Electro-

magnetic study of a ferrite coplanar isolator suitable for in-

tegration, IEEE Trans. Microwave Theory Tech. 51(7):1809–

1814 (July 2003).

12. Y. C. Moon, J. R. Lee, S. W. Yun, and I. S. Chang, A broadband

planar isolator using coupled microstrip lines on a magne-

tized gyrotropic substrate, Microwave J. 44(11):90–103 (Nov.

2001).

13. M. E. Hines, Reciprocal and nonreciprocal modes of propaga-

tion in ferrite stripline and microstrip devices, IEEE Trans.

Microwave Theory Tech. 19(5):442–451 (May 1971).

14. T. Nuguchi, New edge-guided mode isolator using ferromag-

netic resonance absorption, IEEE Trans. Microwave Theory

Tech. 25(2):100–106 (Feb. 1977).

15. R. C. Kane and T. Wong, An edge-guided mode microstrip

isolator with transverse slot discontinuity, IEEE MTT-S Di-

gest, 1990, pp. 1007–1010.

16. A. H. Aly and E. B. El-Sharawy, Performance and modeling of

saw tooth edge mode isolators, IEEE MTT-S Digest, 2001, pp.

475–477.

17. L. Courtois and M. de Vecchis, A new class of nonreciprocal

components using slotlines, IEEE Trans. Microwave Theory

Tech. 23:511–516 (June 1975).

18. A. Beyer and K. Solbach, A new ﬁn-line isolator for integrated

millimeter-wave circuits, IEEE Trans. Microwave Theory

Tech. 29(12):1344–1348 (Dec. 1981).

19. D. K. Linkhart, Microwave Circulator Design, Artech House,

1989.

20. J. D. Huba, NRL Plasma Formulary, rev. ed., Naval Research

Laboratory, Washington, DC, 2002.

21. Ph. Gelin and K. Berthou-Pichavant, New consistent model

for ferrite permeability tensor with arbitrary magnetization

state, IEEE Trans. Microwave Theory Tech. 45(8):1185–1192

(Aug. 1997).

22. M. Sato and Y. Ishii, Simple and approximate expressions of

demagnetizing factors of uniformly magnetized rectangular

rod and cylinder, J. Appl. Phys. 66(2):983–985 (July 1989).

23. H. Bosma, On the principle of stripline circulation, Proc. IEE

109:137–146 (Jan. 1962).

24. C. E. Fay and R. L. Comstock, Operation of the ferrite junc-

tion circulator, IEEE Trans. Microwave Theory Tech. 13:15–27

(Jan. 1965).

25. E. Schloemann and R. E. Blight, Broad-band stripline circu-

lators based on yig and li-ferrite single crystals, IEEE Trans.

Microwave Theory Tech. 34(12):1394–1400 (Dec. 1986).

26. J. Nicolas, Ferromagnetic Materials, North-Holland, Amster-

dam, 1980, Vol. 2, Chap. 4, pp. 243–296.

27. E. Schloemann, Advances in ferrite microwave materials and

devices, J. Magn. Magn. Mater. 209:15–20 (2000).

28. M. Pardavi-Horvath, Microwave applications of soft ferrites,

J. Magn. Magn. Mater. 215–216:171–183 (2000).

29. M. A. Tsankov and L. G. Milenova, Design of self-biased

hexaferrite waveguide circulators, J. Appl. Phys. 73(10):

7018–7020 (May 1993).

30. S. A. Oliver, P. Shi, W. Hu, H. How, S. W. McKnight,

N. E. McGruer, P. M. Zavracky, and C. Vittoria, Integrated

self-biased hexaferrite microstrip circulators for millimeter-

wavelength applications, IEEE Trans. Microwave Theory

Tech. 49(2):385–387 (Feb. 2001).

31. G. F. Dionne, D. E. Oates, D. H. Temme, and J. A. Weiss, Fer-

rite-superconductor devices for advanced microwave applica-

tions, IEEE Trans. Microwave Theory Tech. 44(7):1361–1368

(July 1996).

32. B. Bayard, J. P. Chatelon, M. Le Berre, H. Joisten, J. J. Rous-

seau, and D. Barbier, The effects of deposition and annealing

conditions on crystallographic properties of sputtered barium

ferrite thick ﬁlms, Sensors Actuators A 99:207–212 (2002).

FERRITE ISOLATORS 1485

33. Z. M. Ng, L. E. Davis, and R. Sloan, Coplanar waveguide gy-

roelectric circulator, Int. J. RF Microwave Comput. Aided

Eng. 12(4):367–374 (July 2002).

34. P. Que´ffe´lec, S. Malle´gol, and M. Le Floc’h, Automatic mea-

surement of complex tensorial permeability of magnetized

materials in a wide microwave frequency range, IEEE Trans.

Microwave Theory Tech. 50(9):2128–2134 (Sept. 2002).

FERRITE-LOADED WAVEGUIDES

RICARDO MARQUE

´

S

University of Seville

Seville, Spain

Ferrites and their technological applications have been

known for a long time. Magnetite, the ﬁrst known mag-

netic material, is actually a ferrous ferrite. In 1269 Peter

Peregrinus gave a detailed description of a compass made

with a ﬂoating magnetite needle, probably a Chinese in-

vention. The Spanish word for the compass, bru´jula,

which literally means ‘‘small witch,’’ clearly shows former

navigators’ amazement with the mysterious magnetic

properties of the lodestone. The ﬁrst experimental ferrite

device in microwave technology was demonstrated in 1949

[1]. Since then, applications of artiﬁcial ferrite materials

in microwave technology have grown rapidly and have

become a mature technology, which has been discussed in

many classical textbooks [2–10]. A good historical survey

of the beginnings of the microwave ferrite technology can

be found in Button [1]. A complete bibliography containing

the most relevant contributions in this ﬁeld during the

years that followed can be found in Refs. 11 and 12.

Finally, an authorized survey of the most recent advanc-

es in microwave ferrite technology in Europe, the United

States, and Japan is found in Refs. 13, 14, and 15, respec-

tively.

This article describes the main physical effects due to

the propagation and guidance of electromagnetic waves in

ferrite-loaded waveguides useful in microwave technology.

The linear approach, in which the high-frequency mag-

netic susceptibility of the ferrite is a function of the inter-

nal static magnetic ﬁeld, will be considered valid. This

approach includes the analysis of exchange free electro-

magnetic waves, as well as magnetostatic waves and other

approximations, but not the analysis of spin waves and

nonlinear effects, magnetoelastic waves, and other com-

plex interactions.

The choice of units in the analysis of microwave appli-

cations of ferrites presents some particularities. SI (Inter-

national System) units are preferred for most of the

electronic and electrical engineers. Nevertheless, cgs (cen-

timeter–gram–second) units are used mainly by research-

ers in the area of the constitutive electromagnetic

properties of ferrites. The usage in this text is a compro-

mise between both alternatives. Since in the linear theory

the equations for the static biasing magnetic ﬁeld are

decoupled from the radiofrequency ﬁeld equations, we will

use cgs units in the derivation of the internal magneto-

static ﬁeld, as well as in the expression of the magnetic

permeability in terms of the static bias ﬁeld H

0

, measured

in oersteds, and the saturation magnetization 4pM

0

, with

M

0

measured in gauss (1Oe ¼4pG). For the electromag-

netic RF equations we will use SI units.

1. FUNDAMENTALS OF ELECTRODYNAMICS OF FERRITE

MATERIALS

As long as the linear approach remains valid, the problem

of ﬁnding the radiofrequency electromagnetic ﬁeld inside a

magnetized ferrite can be divided into three steps. First

we must ﬁnd the internal static ﬁeld H

0

as a function of

the external applied static ﬁeld H

ext

. Then we must obtain

the RF magnetic permeability tensor that will be a func-

tion of the internal static ﬁeld. Finally, we must solve the

Maxwell equations for the RF ﬁeld with the appropriate

boundary conditions. Note that, in the linear approach,

the equations for the static ﬁeld H

0

remains independent

from the equations for the RF ﬁeld. The coupling between

these two ﬁelds occurs only by means of the dependence of

the RF magnetic permeability tensor on the static mag-

netic ﬁeld.

1.1. The Static Field

As a general statement, the internal static ﬁeld H

0

is the

solution of the static equations inside the ferrite with the

appropriate constitutive relations and boundary condi-

tions. In the simplest case of a saturated isotropic ferrite,

the static constitutive relations reduces to B

0

¼H

0

þ4pM

s

(remember that we will use cgs units in this part of the

analysis), where M

s

is the magnetization of the ferrite at

saturation, which, in isotropic ferrites, will be parallel to

both B

0

and H

0

. In many cases, the ferrite is placed in a

known external static and uniform ﬁeld H

ext

provided by a

magnet. In this case the internal static ﬁeld is the sum of

the external ﬁeld and a demagnetization ﬁeld H

d

created

by the ferrite internal magnetization. For ellipsoidal fer-

rite samples, rods and plates this problem is a classical

one and is solved analytically, expressing the demagneti-

zation ﬁeld as the dot product of the saturation magneti-

zation by a known demagnetization tensor, which depends

on the shape and the orientation of the ferrite sample. In

particular, for ferrite plates and rods placed in an external

magnetic ﬁeld parallel to the rod axis or the plane of the

plate, it is easy to show that H

0

¼H

ext

. For ferrite plates

placed in an external magnetic ﬁeld perpendicular to the

plate, it is H

0

¼H

ext

–4pM

s

.

1.2. The RF Magnetic Permeability Tensor

In this section we will state the more usual RF cons-

titutive relationships for magnetized ferrites. First we will

consider the simplest case of an intrinsically isotropic fer-

rite. In this context intrinsic isotropy means that the in-

ternal static magnetic ﬁeld is the only source of anisotropy

(induced anisotropy). Thus, after magnetization, the fer-

rite becomes an uniaxial medium with an RF permeability

tensor given by (the z axis is chosen as the direction of

1486 FERRITE-LOADED WAVEGUIDES

internal magnetization)

½m ¼m

0

½m

t

0

0 m

z

_ _

¼m

0

m jk 0

Àjk m 0

0 0 m

z

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

ð1Þ

where m and k are in general complex quantities that

depend on the internal magnetic ﬁeld and ferrite magne-

tization. This particular form of both [m] and [m]

t

ensures

the invariance of the permeability tensor after rotations

around the z axis, which is the unique symmetry require-

ment. Notice that, if ka0, the tensor is not symmetric.

Thus, a magnetized ferrite is a nonreciprocal medium.

For lossless ferrites the permeability tensor must be

Hermitian, and therefore m, k, and m

z

are real numbers.

The theory leading to appropriate expressions for m, k,

and m

z

, valid for intrinsically isotropic saturated ferrites

was ﬁrst developed by Polder in 1949 from an analysis of

the precession of molecular magnetic dipoles in the static

internal ﬁeld. The derivation of such expressions may be

found in many textbooks [2–7]. The ﬁnal expressions are

given here for completeness

m ¼1 þ

o

M

o

H

o

2

H

Ào

2

ð2Þ

k¼

oo

M

o

2

H

Ào

2

ð3Þ

and m

z

¼1, where o

H

is the resonance frequency given by

o

H

¼gH

0

ð4Þ

and

o

M

¼4pgM

s

ð5Þ

(g is the gyromagnetic ratio g ¼ge/2m

e

c, where g is the

Lande factor; –e and m

e

, are the electron charge and mass,

respectively; and c the speed of light. In most ferrites the

magnetization is due to the electron spin alone; therefore

g ¼2 and g ¼1.76 Â 10

7

rad/s.Oe).

There is also a wide class of useful microwave devices

that use ferrites at the remanent magnetization.

These are termed latch ferrite devices and use ferrite

materials with a square hysteresis loop, so that the re-

manence magnetization M

r

is very close to the saturation

magnetization. At remanence H

0

¼0 and (2) and (3)

simplify to m ¼1 and k ¼ À4pM

r

/o. Nevertheless, the use

of these expressions is subject to some restrictions related

to the magnetic losses that may appear at low values

of H

0

[6].

The lossless ferrite is an approximation. Actually, there

are many mechanism of losses in ferrites. Some of them,

such as the ohmic conductivity, can be introduced in the

RF constitutive relationships adding an imaginary part to

the dielectric permittivity. Moreover, they are magnetic

losses as a consequence of the damping of the magnetic

oscillations described by the Polder tensor. The presence of

the resonance frequency o

0

in that tensor clearly suggest

the presence of losses in real ferrites, with a maximum at

this frequency. Magnetic losses may be included in the

Polder tensor after the transformation [10]

o

H

!o

H

þjao ð6Þ

where a is a new parameter that accounts for the losses.

The a parameter is often substituted by the resonance

linewidth DH, which is the width of the resonance curves

for the real part of k and mÀ1 plotted against H

0

. The

resonance linewidth is related to a by DH¼2ao

H

/g. The

magnitude of magnetic losses varies widely in ferrites

used for microwave applications. The resonance linewidth

ranges from about 0.1Oe for single YIG crystals to several

hundreds for polycrystalline ferrite materials. In the ﬁrst

case we can obtain meaningful results neglecting magnet-

ic losses, but this approximation may lead to significant

misleadings in other cases.

Until now we have considered only ferrites with intrin-

sic isotropy. This assumption is not realistic in all cases

because ferrites are crystalline materials with complex

internal structure. Magnetocrystalline intrinsic anisotro-

py usually induces in the crystal easy and hard directions

of magnetization (i.e., directions on which the ferrite

can—or cannot—be magnetized to saturation by a small

applied magnetic ﬁeld). The modiﬁcations of the Polder

tensor induced by the magnetocrystalline anisotropy are

complex and will not be analyzed here. The reader inter-

ested in this topic is referred to any of the textbooks that

develop such expressions [e.g., 8].

The most important magnetocrystalline effect occurs in

uniaxial hexagonal ferrites. In these crystals, the reso-

nance is pushed to a extremely high frequency, even when

the applied static ﬁeld is small. Thus, hexagonal ferrites

found most of its practical applications at millimeter wave

frequencies.

1.3. The Radiofrequency Field

The RF ﬁeld in a ferrite, characterized by the tensor per-

meability (1), is obtained by solving the Maxwell equa-

tions with the appropriate boundary conditions. Assuming

a time-harmonic dependence of the kind exp jot, as well as

the vanishing of current sources, these equations will read

rÂE¼ Àjo½m Á H ð7Þ

rÂH¼joeE ð8Þ

where the dielectric permittivity e will be in general a

complex quantity, in order to incorporate dielectric and

ohmic losses.

1.3.1. Uniform Plane Waves with Longitudinal Magneti-

zation. Although the aim of this article is to analyze the

propagation along waveguides, the analysis of the propa-

gation in an unbounded ferrite medium will provide a

useful introduction to some relevant aspects of the prop-

agation in waveguides. We will ﬁrst suppose a uniform

plane wave with a spacetime dependence of the kind exp

j( Àkz þot) (this factor will be suppressed in the following

FERRITE-LOADED WAVEGUIDES 1487

text) and an internal static magnetic ﬁeld directed along

the z axis: H

0

¼H

0

a

z

.

The analysis of (7) and (8) with these restrictions leads

to two TEM-wave solutions with right-handed circular po-

larization (RCP) and left-handed circular polarization

(LCP) referred to the static ﬁeld H

0

orientation. These

two waves have different phase constants given by

k

Æ

¼o

ﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ

em

eff

p

ð9Þ

where the plus sign stands for the RCP polarization and

the minus sign, for the LCP polarization and m

eff

is an ef-

fective magnetic permeability given by the two eigenvalues

of [m]

t

:

m

Æ

eff

¼m

0

ðm ÆkÞ ð10Þ

Note that the hand of polarization has been referred to the

internal static magnetic ﬁeld orientation, regardless of the

direction of propagation. Therefore, if one of these waves is

fully reﬂected (e.g., by a perfect conducting plate perpen-

dicular to propagation), the hand of the circular polariza-

tion, as well as the effective magnetic permeability, will

remain unchanged, giving rise to a stationary wave.

The values of k

7

for an isotropic lossless ferrite with

RCP and LCP polarizations are shown in Fig. 1 for a fer-

rite magnetized under the usual technological condition of

H

0

o4pM

0

. A forbidden frequency range for RCP waves, in

which k

þ

becomes imaginary, is given by

o

H

oooo

H

þo

M

ð11Þ

If magnetic losses are considered, the transformation (6)

must be introduced in the expressions for m

Æ

eff

. This leads

to two complex propagation constants, that of the RCP

wave having a typical resonant behavior with high reso-

nance losses (see Fig. 1).

The most important effect related to plane-wave prop-

agation in a longitudinally magnetized ferrite is the non-

reciprocal Faraday rotation of the plane of polarization of

a linearly polarized wave. A linearly polarized wave is not

a solution of (7) and (8), but it can be obtained by adding

two contrarotating RCP and LCP waves of equal ampli-

tude. Since the phase constants of these two waves are not

equal, the result is a rotation of the plane of polarization of

the linearly polarized wave. The rotation angle after the

wave has advanced a length Dz is given by

y ¼

1

2

ðk

À

Àk

þ

ÞDz ð12Þ

When a linearly polarized wave is reﬂected backward, the

hand of rotation of the polarization plane remains un-

changed. Thus, the planes of polarization of the incident

and the reﬂected waves will be different at a given dis-

tance from the plane of reﬂection. Therefore, the Faraday

rotation in ferrites is nonreciprocal. If losses are consid-

ered, both the RCP and the LCP waves in which the lin-

early polarized wave splits have different attenuation

constants. This leads to an unequal change in the ampli-

tudes of the RCP and LCP waves, which causes Faraday

elipticity of the original linearly polarized wave. Detailed

treatments of Faraday rotation and elipticity may be

found in the literature cited in the introduction [1–15].

1.3.2. Transverse Magnetization. We will now suppose

an uniform plane wave with a spacetime dependence of

the kind exp j( Àkx þot) (this factor will be suppressed in

the following text) and an internal static magnetic ﬁeld

directed along the z axis: H

0

¼H

0

a

z

. The solution to (7)

and (8) with these restrictions leads two independent uni-

form plane waves with the E ﬁeld linearly polarized. One

of them is a TEM wave with the magnetic ﬁeld parallel to

H

0

. Thus, there is no interaction between the RF ﬁeld and

the electronic spins, and the effective magnetic permeabil-

ity is m

eff

¼m

0

m

z

. This solution is called the ordinary wave,

with phase constant k

2

¼o

ﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ

em

0

m

z

p

. There is also an

extraordinary wave, whose propagation constant is still

given by (9), but with m

eff

given by

m

eff

¼m

0

m

2

Àk

2

m

ð13Þ

The extraordinary wave is a TE wave with the electric

ﬁeld polarized parallel to H

0

and the magnetic ﬁeld ellip-

tically polarized in the plane perpendicular to H

0

. The

values of the propagation constants of the extraordinary

waves for the lossless and the lossy ferrites of Fig. 1 are

shown in Fig. 2. For the lossless extraordinary wave there

is a frequency-forbidden range, in which k becomes imag-

inary, deﬁned by

ﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ

o

H

ðo

H

þo

M

Þ

_

oooo

H

þo

M

ð14Þ

The presence of an ordinary wave and an extraordinary

wave with orthogonal polarization, recalls the birefrin-

gence of uniaxial crystals. This birefringence can be used

Im(k)

RCP Re(k)

RCP

RCP

1

LCP

o/o

H

Figure 1. Normalized complex propagation constant for the RCP

wave (10) in a lossy ferrite with o

M

¼1.5o

H

and gDH¼0.1o

H

(solid lines). The normalized phase constants for the two RCP and

LCP waves in a lossless ferrite with o

M

¼1.5 o

H

and gDH¼0 are

also shown (dashed lines).

1488 FERRITE-LOADED WAVEGUIDES

in the design of microwave devices such as half- and quar-

ter-wave plates and polarizers.

1.3.3. Magnetization at Any Angle. In this case, the

phase constant can still be written as in (9), with an ef-

fective magnetic permeability that depends on the angle

y

k

between the static magnetization and the wave phase

velocity. The ﬁnal expression for this effective permeabil-

ity is [10]

m

eff

ðy

k

Þ

¼m

0

2 þ

m

t

m

z

À1

_ _

sin

2

y

k

Æ

ﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ

m

t

m

z

À1

_ _

2

sin

4

y

k

þ4

k

2

m

2

cos

2

y

k

¸

2

sin

2

y

k

m

z

þ

cos

2

y

k

m

_ _

ð15Þ

with m

t

¼(m

2

Àk

2

)/m. For a ﬁxed frequency, a plot of k, y

k

in

polar coordinates, with k ¼o

ﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ

em

eff

p

, gives the phase con-

stants corresponding to the two solutions of (15). These

curves can also be interpreted as isofrequency curves of

the dispersion equation o¼o(k, y

k

) in the k, y

k

plane.

Thus, the group velocity v

g

¼r

k

o will be perpendicular to

these curves at each angle y

k

. For an arbitrary y

k

, the di-

rection of the optical ray will not be parallel to the direc-

tion of propagation of the wavefronts.

1.3.4. Nonreciprocity. One of the basic theorems of

electromagnetism is the Lorentz reciprocity theorem. It

applies to any linear and causal medium whose cons-

titutive relationships can be described by symmetric fre-

quency-dependent dielectric permittivity and/or magnetic

susceptibility tensors. As was already mentioned, since

the tensor magnetic susceptibility (1) is not symmetric,

this is not the case for ferrites. In fact, many of the prac-

tical applications of ferrites in microwave technology, such

as circulators or isolators, arise from this nonreciprocal

behavior. However, it is still possible to reformulate the

reciprocity theorem in a form that is applicable to ferrite

media. Following Harrington [16] and McIsaac [17], we

will start from the Onsager relation, which states that any

tensor macroscopic susceptibility of a causal and linear

medium must be equal to the medium’s transpose after

reversal in time of all the physical relevant quantities. For

an externally magnetized ferrite, taking into account that

the static bias ﬁeld changes of sign after reversal in time,

we conclude that the tensor magnetic susceptibility of a

ferrite (1) must equal its transpose after the change of sign

of the static biasing ﬁeld. From this conclusion, we can

directly state the reciprocity theorem for ferrite media

__

ðEÂH

0

ÀE

0

ÂHÞ Á dS¼

___

ðE

0

Á J ÀEÂJ

0

ÞdV ð16Þ

where the physical quantities must be reinterpreted as

follows: E, H and E

0

, H

0

are two independent electromag-

netic ﬁeld conﬁgurations produced by source current den-

sities J and J

0

respectively, at frequency o in the same

ferrite medium, except that the medium in which the

prime quantities are deﬁned has a reverse static magne-

tization: H

0

0

¼ ÀH

0

. The surface integrals on the left side

of (16) are over any surface containing the source current

densities included in the volume integral on the right side.

This generalized reciprocity theorem is useful in the anal-

ysis of mode orthogonality in ferrite-loaded waveguides, as

well as in the analysis of ferrite-loaded waveguide junc-

tions.

2. MICROWAVE PROPAGATION IN FERRITE-LOADED

WAVEGUIDES

In the preceding section microwave propagation in un-

bounded ferrite media was analyzed. Many of the studied

effects, such as Faraday rotation and nonreciprocity, also

appear when the RF ﬁeld propagates along waveguides.

Moreover, the microwave propagation along ferrite-loaded

waveguides presents new useful effects, such as unidirec-

tionality and ﬁeld displacement, complex and backward

modes, slow magnetostatic waves, and circulation.

In the following paragraphs we will choose the z axis as

the waveguide axis, and a spacetime dependence of the

kind exp j(ot Àkz) will be supposed. The mode phase con-

stant k will be in general a complex number k¼b Àja.

Both b and a will be chosen real without loss of generality,

and the factor exp j(ot Àkz) will be suppressed.

2.1. Unidirectional and Bidirectional Modes

A mode with phase constant k that does not have a sym-

metric pair with the opposite phase constant –k is called

unidirectional. All lossless and reciprocal waveguides are

bidirectional. This is not the case for ferrite loaded wave-

guides, because ferrites are nonreciprocal media that are

not invariant after time reversal. The presence of unidi-

rectional modes of propagation in ferrite-loaded wave-

guides is useful in many microwave devices, such as

isolators and nonreciprocal phase shifters. However,

many ferrite-loaded waveguides, which remain invariant

o/o

H

Re(k)

Im(k)

1

Figure 2. Normalized phase and complex propagation constants

for the extraordinary waves in the inﬁnite lossless (dashed lines)

and lossy (solid lines) ferrites of Fig. 1 with transverse magneti-

zation.

FERRITE-LOADED WAVEGUIDES 1489

after some symmetry transformations, are bidirectional;

specifically, unidirectional modes cannot propagate along

these waveguides. McIsaac [18] and, more recently, Dmi-

triyev [19] have investigated these symmetries. McIsaac

[18] concludes that bidirectionality is ensured if the wave-

guide remains the same after one or more of the following

transformations:

*

Reﬂection in a plane perpendicular to z axis

*

Rotation by 1801 about an axis perpendicular to the z

axis

*

Inversion at any point

In performing these transformations, the pseudovectorial

nature of the static bias ﬁeld H

0

has to be taken into ac-

count (i.e., H

0

remains the same after spatial inversion

and after reﬂection in a perpendicular plane, but changes

sign after a reﬂection in a parallel plane). In particular,

any ferrite-loaded waveguide with longitudinal magneti-

zation must be bidirectional, because this waveguide re-

mains unchanged after reﬂection in a plane perpendicular

to the z axis.

Bidirectionality does not imply that all the character-

istics of the modes remain unchanged when the direction

of propagation is reversed. For instance, the energy dis-

tribution and/or the polarization of a pair of bidirectional

modes having the same but opposite phase constants may

be different. Moreover, although all modes in bidirectional

ferrite-loaded waveguides must be bidirectional, not all

the modes in nonbidirectional ferrite-loaded waveguides

are unidirectional; some of them, having the appropriate

polarization, may be bidirectional.

2.2. Complex and Backward Modes

Complex modes in inhomogeneously ﬁlled lossless wave-

guides were ﬁrst reported by Tai in 1960 and Carricoats in

1965 [20]. Complex modes in lossless isotropic waveguides

are characterized by a complex propagation constant k ¼

7b7ja and appear in groups of four solutions, in which all

the possible combination of signs are allowed. Carricoats

also shown that, for a single complex mode, power ﬂows in

opposite directions along the different media ﬁlling the

waveguide, giving a zero net power ﬂux. Therefore, com-

plex modes in lossless waveguides are reactive modes.

Complex modes have proved to be a very important part of

the spectra of ferrite-loaded waveguides [20] (in fact, they

were ﬁrst reported for ferrite-loaded waveguides by Tai).

In particular, all the unidirectional and reactive modes in

ferrite-loaded waveguides must be complex [21,22].

Complex modes are closely related to backward modes

(i.e., modes with negative group velocity). In fact, a pair of

complex modes in lossless waveguides usually changes to

a pair of propagating forward and backward modes when

frequency varies [20]. Backward modes in the spectra of

ferrite loaded waveguides, mainly in the magnetostatic

wave region, has been widely analyzed (see, e.g., Ref. 8).

2.3. Mode Orthogonality

Mode orthogonality in ferrite-loaded waveguides was an-

alyzed in Ref. 23. Applying the generalized reciprocity

theorem (16) to two modes bfe

m

, h

m

(x, y) exp j(ot Àk

m

z)

and bfe

0

n

; h

0

n

ðx; yÞ expjðot Àk

0

n

zÞ of the actual waveguide

and the complementary waveguide (the complementary

waveguide is deﬁned as the original one with the static

magnetic ﬁeld reversed), the following relation is obtained

ðk

0

n

þk

m

Þ

__

ðe

0

n

Âh

m

Àe

m

Âh

0

n

Þ Á u

z

dx dy ¼0 ð17Þ

where the integral is over the cross section of the wave-

guide. This equation may be considered as a general or-

thogonality relation since the integral must be zero unless

k

m

¼k

0

n

. This relation simpliﬁes for most practical situa-

tions in which the static magnetic ﬁeld is either parallel or

perpendicular to the waveguide axis. The explicit orthog-

onality relationships for these particular but important

magnetizations can be found in Ref. 23.

2.4. Field Displacement Effects

It was pointed out earlier that electromagnetic wave prop-

agation in ferrites at an arbitrary angle with respect to the

magnetizing ﬁeld usually implies that the optical rays

(and the power ﬂux) are not parallel to the phase velocity.

However, in a nonradiating waveguide, both power ﬂux

and wave propagation are forced to be parallel to the

waveguide axis. Thus, this effect cannot be present in

nonradiating waveguides. Instead, this tendency of power

to ﬂow in a direction different from the wave propagation

may cause strongly unsymmetric accumulations of elec-

tromagnetic energy across the waveguide section. This

nonreciprocal ﬁeld displacement effect is used in the

design of microwave isolators and phase shifters.

2.5. The Magnetostatic Approximation

Near the resonances m

eff

-Nand the effect of the Maxwell

displacement current may be neglected with regard to the

Faraday induction effects. This leads to the magnetostatic

approximation. Taking into account that rÁ B¼0, a mag-

netostatic potential H¼ Àrc is deﬁned, which must

satisfy

r Á ð½m Á rcÞ ¼0 ð18Þ

(in ferrite-loaded waveguides, the nabla operator is re-

placed by r !r

t

Àjku

z

). The solutions to (18), with the

appropriate boundary conditions, are the magnetostatic

modes of the waveguide. Magnetostatic waves in ferrite-

loaded waveguides, have been analyzed extensively [8].

The main applications of magnetostatic waves in micro-

wave technology arise from its small wavelength. This re-

sult in broad applications in miniature controllable

devices, such as delay lines, ﬁlters, power limiters, and

signal-to-noise enhancers [24].

2.6. Basic Properties of Ferrite-Loaded Waveguide Junctions

A waveguide junction is characterized by its scattering

matrix S

i,j

. It is a well-known fact that if the materials

ﬁlling the junction are reciprocal, the scattering matrix

must be symmetric. If the junction is nonreciprocal, this

1490 FERRITE-LOADED WAVEGUIDES

statement must be modiﬁed as a consequence of the re-

formulation of the reciprocity theorem (16). This modiﬁ-

cation leads to the following relations between the

scattering matrix elements of a ferrite-loaded junction

and its complementary (i.e., the junction with the biasing

static magnetic ﬁeld reversed):

S

i;j

ðo; H

0

Þ ¼S

j;i

ðo; ÀH

0

Þ ð19Þ

If the junction is also lossless, the scattering matrix must

be unitary (S

i;j

S

Ã

k;j

¼d

i;k

, where the rule of summation over

all the repeated subindex has been used). Other symme-

tries of the scattering matrix may be deduced from the

spatial symmetries of the junction (including the bias

ﬁeld) [19].

The use of the scattering matrix symmetry properties is

useful in the design of many microwave devices, such as

isolators, phase shifters, and circulators. The Y circulator

is perhaps the most useful and best known nonreciprocal

junction. An Y circulator is a symmetric three-port junc-

tion with some specific properties. A symmetric three-port

junction must have S

1,1

¼S

2,2

¼S

3,3

, S

1,2

¼S

2,3

¼S

3,1

, and

S

2,1

¼S

1,3

¼S

3,2

. These relations are fulﬁlled by any junc-

tion having a rotation symmetry axis of third order and

magnetized along this axis. The circuit theory of three-

and N-port circulators may be found in Ref. 6 and other

textbooks. It can be shown that if a lossless, nonreciprocal,

and symmetric three-port waveguide junction is matched

(i.e., S

1,1

¼0), it is also an ideal Y circulator [i.e., S

1,2

¼1 or

0 and S

1,3

¼0 or 1]. If the magnetization of a nonreciprocal

three-port Y circulator is reversed, the direction of circu-

lation is also reversed, as a consequence of (19).

3. FERRITE-LOADED WAVEGUIDES FOR

PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS

In this section we will describe the most widely used fer-

rite-loaded waveguides. There are many classical text-

books and papers [2,3,5–7], and more recent ones [9,25]

that describe these waveguides, as well as the most useful

microwave devices that may be designed using them. The

reader may use these and other texts to broad the infor-

mation contained in this section.

3.1. Circular Waveguides with Longitudinal Magnetization

It is well known from the theory of hollow waveguides that

the fundamental mode of the empty circular waveguide is

the TE

1,1

mode, which is a double degenerate mode with

two perpendicular polarizations in the waveguide cross

section. This mode has a ﬁeld distribution that is almost

TEM in the vicinity of the waveguide axis. Thus, if a fer-

rite rod with longitudinal magnetization is placed at the

center of the waveguide (see Fig. 3), the two orthogonal

and degenerate TE

1,1

fundamental modes will interact as

a consequence of the Faraday rotation effect, giving rise to

two nondegenerate circularly polarized RCP and LCP

modes (with the hand of polarization deﬁned with respect

to the static bias ﬁeld orientation). These modes can be

approximated by the same RCP and LCP modes of a cir-

cular waveguide with an inner isotropic rod with an scalar

magnetic susceptibility given by (10). In the same way, if a

linearly polarized wave with linear polarization enters the

ferrite-loaded waveguide, this wave will experience a

Faraday rotation by an angle given approximately by

(12), where k

þ

and k

À

are now the phase constants of

the RCP and LCP ferrite-loaded waveguide modes.

The phase constants, as well as the mode ﬁelds of the

two nondegenerate RCP and LCP ferrite-loaded wave-

guide modes, were obtained analytically by Waldron in

1958. Analytical solutions, not only for the cylindrical

waveguide with a ferrite rod but also for many other re-

lated structures, such as cylindrical waveguides loaded

with ferrite and dielectric tubes, may also be found in the

literature [4]. Modes in this kind of ferrite-loaded

waveguide are not TE nor TM, but becomes TE and TM

at cutoff [4], these modes are termed HE and EH depend-

ing on whether the magnetic H

z

or the electric E

z

ﬁeld

dominates. At cutoff, HE modes become TE and EH modes

become TM.

Ferrite-loaded circular waveguides with longitudinal

magnetization are extensively used in Faraday rotation

devices, based on the aforementioned rotation of the po-

larization plane of a linearly polarized wave. The most

known Faraday rotation device is the four-port circulator,

described in many textbooks. Faraday rotation may be

also used in the design of magnetically tuned variable at-

tenuators, isolators and phase shifters (see, e.g., Ref. 9 and

references cited therein). In the early years of microwave

ferrite technology, much effort was devoted to develop

Faraday rotation circulators and other microwave devices

with cylindrical geometry. In the following years, however,

the Y-junction circulators, as well as phase shifters and

attenuators in rectangular and/or planar technology, were

found to be smaller, simpler, and more appropriate for

Ferrite

(j)

H

0

a

Figure 3. Cylindrical waveguide with an inner centered ferrite

rod of longitudinal magnetization.

FERRITE-LOADED WAVEGUIDES 1491

most applications; the research effort then began to focus

on these devices.

3.2. E-Plane Transversely Magnetized Ferrite-Loaded

Rectangular Waveguides

Figure 4a shows the variation of the magnetic ﬁeld com-

ponents H

x

and H

z

of the fundamental TE

1,0

mode in a

hollow rectangular waveguide. The magnetic ﬁeld is cir-

cularly polarized around the y axis where |H

z

|¼|H

x

|.

This condition occurs at two symmetric positions, at a dis-

tance d of the rectangular sidewalls, given by

d¼

a

p

cot

À1

ﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ

4a

2

l

2

0

À1

¸ _ _

ð20Þ

If an E-plane ferrite slab biased with a static magnetic

ﬁeld directed along the y axis is placed at a distance d of

one of the lateral sidewalls (see Fig. 4b), the wave prop-

agating in the positive (negative) direction along the z axis

is right (left)-handed-polarized with respect to the static

bias ﬁeld. Thus we can expect that the forward (backward)

wave will see the effective magnetic permeability of the

slab m

þ

eff

ðm

À

eff

Þ, given by (10). Therefore, wave propagation

will be unidirectional, with different phase constants for

opposite directions of propagation. Moreover, since the de-

pendence of m

þ

eff

with H

0

is much stronger than those of

m

À

eff

, the forward wave will be much more affected by vari-

ations in the intensity of H

0

than the backward one. If the

bias ﬁeld is chosen in a region in which m

þ

eff

is positive and

presents a strong dependence on the bias ﬁeld intensity,

the waveguide may be used as a nonreciprocal phase shift-

er. If the bias ﬁeld is chosen at the resonance condition

(o

H

¼o), the forward wave will see a resonant magnetic

permeability and will experience strong attenuation due

to the resonance losses. Then, the waveguide may be used

as a resonance isolator. If the bias ﬁeld is chosen at the

antiresonance condition o

H

¼oÀo

M

, the forward wave

will see a perfect diamagnet with m

þ

eff

¼0, which imposes

perfect diamagnetic boundary conditions at both slab

sides and, therefore, zero tangential electric RF ﬁeld at

these boundaries. If an absorber is located at the inner

boundary of the slab, it is expected that the forward wave

will not be attenuated whereas the backward wave will be

strongly attenuated. This waveguide may thus be used as

a ﬁeld displacement isolator.

The wave propagation characteristics along this wave-

guide may also be found analytically. The ﬁrst published

results on this subject are due to of Kales (1953). Gardiol

[26] gave a general method for computing the propagation

characteristics of rectangular waveguides ﬁlled with an

arbitrary number of anisotropic slabs, including ferrite

slabs, making use of the transverse transmission matrix

method. Referred to the geometry of Fig. 4b, the trans-

verse transmission matrix of the i region [T

i

] is deﬁned as

the matrix relating the tangential ﬁelds, E

y

and H

z

, at

both sides of the ith region of the waveguide. In a notation

that becomes apparent, we can write

E

y

H

z

_

_

_

_

x ¼a

¼½T

3

Á ½T

2

Á ½T

1

Á

E

y

H

z

_

_

_

_

x ¼0

¼

t

1;1

t

1;2

t

2;1

t

2;2

_

_

_

_

Á

E

y

H

z

_

_

_

_

x ¼0

ð21Þ

Since the lateral sidewalls are assumed to be perfect con-

ducting walls, the tangential electric ﬁeld must vanish at

these boundaries. This imply that t

1,2

¼0, which may be

considered an implicit equation for the phase constant.

This method may be applied to rectangular waveguides

with any number of E-plane transversely magnetized fer-

rite slabs and/or lossy dielectric slabs, thus providing a

general method for the analysis of isolators and phase

shifters.

The nonreciprocal isolation and phase variation effects

of the E-plane ferrite-loaded waveguide of Fig. 4b may be

increased by placing a symmetric ferrite slab with reverse

magnetization at the remaining plane of circular polar-

ization of the TE

1,0

mode. Since at this plane the circular

polarization of the TE

1,0

wave has opposite handedness,

the effect of the new ferrite slab adds to the effect of the

former one. A variation of this two-slab ferrite-loaded

waveguide is the latch ferrite toroid in rectangular wave-

guide (Fig. 5a) proposed by Treuhaft (1958) [9] for phase-

shifting applications. The main advantage of this conﬁg-

uration is that the permanent magnet is substituted by a

ferrite toroid magnetized at remanence by an electric cur-

rent pulse, driven by a single wire at the center of the

waveguide (this wire is perpendicular to the RF electric

ﬁeld and has a negligible effect on microwave propaga-

tion). This structure is also suitable for rapid switching

between the two opposite nonreciprocal states of the wave-

guide. In the analysis of this structure, the upper

and lower branches of the ferrite toroid, which do not

have substantial effect on phase change, may be neglected

H

z

H

z

H

x

x=a

a

3

H

0

1

F

e

r

r

i

t

e

2

(a) (b)

Figure 4. (a) Plot of the intensities of the mag-

netic ﬁeld components |H

x

| and |H

z

| of the fun-

damental TE

1,0

mode in a rectangular hollow

waveguide (frequency 9 GHz, a¼23mm; dashed

lines—planes of circular polarization); (b) rectan-

gular waveguide loaded with a transversely

magnetized ferrite slab at a plane of circular

polarization of the RF magnetic ﬁeld.

1492 FERRITE-LOADED WAVEGUIDES

leading thus to the simpler structure of Fig. 5b. Gardiol

[27] gives expressions that transform the geometry of Fig.

5a into the geometry of Fig. 5b with a gain in accuracy. An

alternative for reducing the unwanted effects of the upper

and lower branches of the ferrite toroid is to replace this

into a rectangular grooved waveguide, as proposed in Ref.

28. If nonreciprocity is not desired, a reciprocal phase

shifter may still be obtained magnetizing both slabs of Fig.

5b with parallel and equal static magnetic ﬁelds. This

structure is symmetric after inversion at a point in the

waveguide axis and, therefore, is bidirectional.

3.3. Other Useful Cylindrical and Rectangular

Ferrite-Loaded Waveguides

Although the circular and rectangular geometries seem to

be the natural geometries for longitudinal and transverse

magnetization, respectively, there are also some useful

devices that use transversely magnetized circular wave-

guides and longitudinally magnetized rectangular wave-

guides. Field displacement effects similar to those

reported earlier for rectangular waveguides may be

achieved in cylindrical waveguides loaded with latch fer-

rite tubes magnetized in the azimutal direction. The dual-

mode ferrite phase shifters include latch and transversely

magnetized circular waveguide sections [29]. A widely

used ferrite-loaded rectangular waveguide with longitu-

dinal magnetization is the Reggia–Spencer phase shifter

[30], which consists of a ferrite rod with longitudinal mag-

netization placed at the center of a rectangular wave-

guide. If the dimensions of the hollow waveguide allows

for the propagation of only the ﬁrst TE

1,0

mode, Faraday

rotation cannot take place. Instead, a strong variation of

the wave phase constant with the applied static magnetic

ﬁeld occurs. Like all waveguides having longitudinal mag-

netization, the Reggia–Spencer phase shifter is bidirec-

tional; thus the phase change is reciprocal.

4. FERRITE-LOADED MICROSTRIPS, SLOTLINES, AND

FINLINES

After the mid-1960s, when planar microwave integrated

circuits became a viable technology, ferrite-loaded micro-

strips and slotlines began to be investigated as an alter-

native to traditional ferrite-loaded waveguides for the

design of reciprocal and nonreciprocal phase shifters

[31], isolators [32], and other useful devices, which have

been summarized in some classical review papers [25] and

textbooks [9]. Later, when ﬁnlines emerged as a useful

alternative for planar technology in millimeter-wave

circuits, ferrite-loaded ﬁnlines [33,34] also began to be

investigated.

4.1. The Ferrite-Loaded Parallel-Plate Waveguide

Before considering more complicated structures, it will be

useful to analyze the simpler parallel-plate waveguide

loaded with ferrite slabs (Fig. 6). It has been shown [25]

that for magnetization parallel to propagation, these

waveguides supports a quasi-TEM mode and that the fer-

rite layers may be characterized by an effective perme-

ability given by (13). For magnetization perpendicular to

both the direction of propagation and the plane of the

waveguide, the ferrite layers may be again characterized

by the scalar effective permeability (13), but the ﬁeld is no

longer TEM because of the birefringence effects. Finally,

for magnetization perpendicular to propagation and par-

allel to the waveguide plane, there is almost no interaction

between the static magnetic ﬁeld and the RF ﬁeld and the

ferrite layers are characterized by the scalar permeability

m

z

. Near the forbidden frequency range, the analysis be-

comes more involved, due to the apparition of magneto-

static modes. Magnetostatic modes in parallel-plate

ferrite-loaded waveguides have been extensively analyzed

(see, e.g., Ref. 8 and references cited therein).

4.2. Ferrite-Loaded Microstrip Lines

Microstrip line (see Fig. 7a) is the most widely used wave-

guide in planar technology. Although exact methods of

analysis are now available, considerable insight into the

physical behavior of ferrite-loaded microstrip lines may be

obtained from the well-known parallel-plate microstrip

y

x

c=c(y), [j]=[j](y;H

0

)

Figure 6. Parallel-plate waveguide ﬁlled by a multilayer medi-

um including one or more ferrite slabs [e(y) and [m](y) are piece-

wise constant functions of y].

Ferrite

H

0

Ferrite

H

0

H

0

c

0

c

0

c I

(a) (b)

Figure 5. (a) Rectangular waveguide loaded with a latch

ferrite toroid; (b) rectangular waveguide loaded with two

oppositely magnetized ferrite slabs at the planes of circular

polarization of the RF magnetic ﬁeld.

FERRITE-LOADED WAVEGUIDES 1493

model (see Fig. 7b). In this model, the microstrip line is

substituted by a section of parallel-plate waveguide be-

tween two magnetic walls. This section is slightly wider

than the microstrip, in order to incorporate the effects of

the fringing ﬁelds. Nevertheless, if, at the operating fre-

quency, magnetostatic modes could be excited in the hous-

ing surface waveguide at both sides of the microstrip (see

Fig. 7a), they could actually be excited by the microstrip,

which would then become a magnetostatic wave trans-

ducer [8,24].

4.2.1. Microstrip with Longitudinal Magnetization. Us-

ing the model of Fig. 7b and the results reported earlier,

the qualitative behavior of these kinds of microstrips may

be investigated by means of the analysis of a section of

parallel-plate waveguide loaded with one or more slabs of

effective magnetic permeability given by (13), bounded by

two perfect magnetic walls. This model provides a quasi-

TEM and bidirectional fundamental mode with a phase

constant that is a function of the biasing magnetic ﬁeld.

The same qualitative results are provided by more accu-

rate quasi-TEM analyses of the actual microstrip line,

using either the effective permeability (13) [25], the tensor

magnetic permeability (1) [35,36], or by a full-wave

analysis, discussed later in this article. The main applica-

tion of microstrip lines with longitudinal magnetization

is in phase shifting by meanderlines, a design that min-

imize the size of the device [31]. The phase variation

with the applied magnetic ﬁeld may be increased if strong-

ly coupled quarter-wave meanderline sections are used.

These structures provides strong nonreciprocal phase

shifting [31] were nonreciprocity is due to the coupling

effects.

4.2.2. Transversely Magnetized Microstrip Lines. We will

consider the two orthogonal magnetizations, perpendicu-

lar and parallel to the ground plane. For the second one

there is no expected interaction between the static bias

ﬁeld and the RF ﬁeld in the parallel plate waveguide mod-

el of Fig. 7b because of the RF magnetic ﬁeld parallel to

the static bias ﬁeld. In fact, only a slightly nonreciprocal

phase shift may be observed, due to the fringing ﬁeld near

the microstrip edges.

Of much more interest is the microstrip line with mag-

netization perpendicular to the ground plane. Considering

anew the parallel plate model of Fig. 7b, the ferrite slab

can be characterized by a layer of effective magnetic per-

meability (13). However it must be realized that, for this

magnetization, the RF ﬁeld is not quasi-TEM, due to the

birefringence effects in the ferrite layer. Hines [32] showed

that in a semiinﬁnite ferrite-ﬁlled parallel-plate wave-

guide, with a perpendicular magnetic wall at its end,

and magnetized along the direction perpendicular to the

ground planes, there is a TEM mode propagating along

the waveguide and attenuating in the direction perpen-

dicular to the magnetic wall. The phase constant of this

mode is given by k¼k

0

ðj

ﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ

e

r

m

p

a

z

Àðk=mÞ

ﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ

e

r

m

p

a

x

Þ [note that

k Á k¼k

2

0

e

r

ðm

eff

=m

0

Þ; that is, k is the same as for a nonuni-

form plane wave in a slab of effective permeability m

eff

].

Hines also showed that this mode is unidirectional. The

TEM mode described by Hines fulﬁlls all the requirements

imposed by the lateral magnetic walls of Fig. 7b for suf-

ﬁciently wide strips. Moreover, since the mode in the semi-

inﬁnite parallel-plate waveguide was unidirectional, the

microstrip mode will present a strong ﬁeld displacement

from one to another strip edge when the direction of prop-

agation is reversed.

Although the analysis above has focused on ferrite-

ﬁlled parallel-plate waveguides, the same qualitative re-

sults also apply to multilayered ferrite-loaded parallel-

plate waveguides and microstrips. Hines modes are usu-

ally termed edge modes in microstrips because the RF ﬁeld

is concentrated mainly in the vicinity of a microstrip edge.

Edge modes in microstrip are useful in the design of wide-

band edge-mode isolators and nonreciprocal edge-mode

phase shifters [32,38,39], which use the same principle as

do ﬁeld displacement isolators and phase shifters. Analy-

sis of such structures is usually performed using approx-

imate models. More recently, spectral-domain analysis has

been successfully applied to analyze edge-mode isolators

without approximations [40].

4.3. Ferrite-Loaded Slotlines and Finlines

Slotlines (Fig. 8a) and coplanar waveguides are an useful

alternative to microstrip in the design of microwave inte-

grated circuits. In millimeter-wave technology, ﬁnlines in

rectangular waveguides (Fig. 8b) also represent a good al-

ternative for integration without radiation losses. By add-

ing ferrite layers to these waveguides, many of the effects

described for ferrite-loaded microstrips may be achieved.

Since the RF magnetic ﬁeld in slotlines and ﬁnlines is

concentrated mainly in the slot and directed perpendicu-

lar to the air interface, it is expected that the strongest

effects for transversely magnetized slotlines and ﬁnlines

will occur for magnetization parallel to the ﬁns. These

structures have been extensively analyzed for the design

of ﬁeld displacement isolators and phase shifters [25]. A

c=c(y)

[j]=[j](y;H

0

)

w

y

x

w+∆w

w+∆w

Perfect

magnetic

wall

Perfect

magnetic

wall

c=c(y),[j]=[j];(y;H

0

)

(a) (b)

Figure 7. (a) Microstrip line on a multilayer

ferrite-loaded substrate [as in Fig. 6, e(y) and

[m](y) are piecewise constant functions of y];

(b) parallel-plate waveguide model for the mi-

crostrip line of (a).

1494 FERRITE-LOADED WAVEGUIDES

millimeter-wave ﬁeld displacement ﬁnline isolator has

been proposed [33]. Transversely magnetized slotlines

and ﬁnlines for nonreciprocal phase-shifting applications

have also been analyzed [37,42–44]. Applications of ﬁn-

lines with longitudinal magnetization have been also in-

vestigated [34].

4.4. Methods of Analysis of Ferrite-Loaded Quasiplanar

Layered Structures

With a few exceptions, quasi-TEM analysis usually pro-

vide sufﬁciently accurate results for the analysis of con-

ventional microstrip and coplanar or slotlines. However,

this analysis is seldom suitable for these structures when

they are ferrite-loaded. In fact, quasi-TEM modes are by

definition bidirectional, and therefore the quasi-TEM

analysis cannot account for many of the most relevant

physical effects in ferrite-loaded transmission lines. Quasi-

TEM analysis in its standard form is restricted to

longitudinally magnetized lines [35,36]. More recently,

however, some attempts have been made in order to gen-

eralize this analysis to transversely magnetized struc-

tures [41]. Nevertheless, in general, planar and

quasiplanar ferrite-loaded transmission lines require

full-wave analysis.

With respect to numerical techniques, spectral-domain

analysis (SDA) is by far the most widely used technique

for the analysis of ferrite-loaded strip and/or slot struc-

tures [35–37,40,43–45]. The basic fundamentals of SDA

may be found in many textbooks, such as that of Mi-

rshekar-Syahkal [46]. SDA is specially well suited for the

analysis of microstrips and/or slot- and ﬁnlines on planar

single- or multilayer substrates, because of the translat-

ional symmetry of these substrates. Since the SDA applied

to microstrip or microslot structures is adequately de-

scribed in Ref. 46 and other textbooks, we only briefly de-

scribe here the main specific characteristics of the SDA

when it is applied to ferrite-loaded microstrip and/or mi-

croslot waveguides. The main difﬁculty in the application

of the SDA to ferrite-loaded microstrip or microslot on in-

ﬁnite planar substrates is in the determination of the

spectral-domain Greens function dyad

"

GGðk

x

; k

z

Þ, which re-

lates a surface current source J

s

¼J

s,0

expÀjk

x

x expÀjk

z

z

in the plane of the structure, with the RF tangential elec-

tric ﬁeld E

t

¼E

t,0

expÀjk

x

x expÀjk

z

z (E

t

¼(E

x

, E

z

)

t

) over

the same or other parallel plane:

J

0

¼

"

GGðk

x

; k

z

Þ Á E

t;0

ð22Þ

General methods for the computation of the spectral

Green dyad in multilayered ferrite-loaded substrates (in

fact, in general layered bianisotropic substrates) have

been reported [47,48]. The Fourier-transformed matrix

method reported in Ref. 47 is, in fact, an application of

the transverse transmission matrix procedure described

earlier to the determination of the spectral Green dyad

(22) in general bianisotropic media with arbitrary surface

current sheets. The equivalent boundary method, de-

scribed in Ref. 48, proposes a procedure for computing

the spectral Green dyad of an n-layered medium starting

from 4n (in the worst case) single-layer Green dyads de-

ﬁned for each layer of the structure with appropriate

boundary conditions. This results in a recurrence algo-

rithm that is found to have a high numerical stability

[45,48].

The SDA may also be applied to boxed stripline and

ﬁnline structures. In this case the integral Fourier trans-

form of the ﬁeld and currents must be substituted by a

Fourier series transform in an equivalent periodic struc-

ture. For magnetized ferrite-layered media in rectangular

metallic boxes, this imposes an important restriction—

strictly speaking, the SDA can be applied only to sub-

strates with static magnetization perpendicular to the lat-

eral sidewalls. In any other case, due to the properties of

the magnetic ﬁeld after spatial reﬂection, it is not possible

to ﬁnd an equivalent periodic structure with translational

symmetry suitable for the application of the series Fourier

transform. Therefore, the application of the SDA to boxed

structures magnetized in any direction different from the

aforementioned one, must be considered only as an

approximation.

The SDA, as described previously, applies only to struc-

tures with strips or ﬁns of negligible thickness. Structures

with nonnegligible ﬁn or strip thickness may be analyzed

using a mode-matching technique in the transverse direc-

tion, which also implies an SDA [49]. A similar method

may be applied to boxed structures with asymmetric rect-

angular piecewise boxes [50]. Finally, the SDA also applies

to structures having fully or partly lossy strips or ﬁns,

provided these lossy strips or ﬁns can be described by a

suitable surface impedance, deﬁned over the strip or the

ﬁn region [40].

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c(y)

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(a) (b)

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FERRITE-LOADED WAVEGUIDES 1495

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1496 FERRITE-LOADED WAVEGUIDES

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FERRITE PHASE SHIFTERS

WILLIAM E. HORD

Microwave Applications Group

Santa Maria, CA

Phase shifters are used extensively in the microwave and

millimeter-wave region primarily as array elements in

phased-array antennas. The ﬁrst application of ferrite

phase shifters in antenna arrays was during the decade

of the 1960s. Since then growth has been dramatic with

military applications being the motivating force. The air

defense systems of the former Soviet Union are designed

and built around ferrite phase shifting devices as are sev-

eral of the ground-based, naval, and airborne systems of

the United States. The article describes the evolution of

ferrite phase shifters that have made the transition from

the research laboratory to the production ﬂoor. Wherever

possible, the author has identiﬁed the systems that use a

specific type device.

Ferrite phase shifters are two-port devices operating in

the microwave and millimeter-frequency range between

1.4 and 100GHz. A variable insertion phase between in-

put port and output port is accomplished by varying the

bias magnetic ﬁeld of the ferrite material. The insertion

phase of a phase shifter is the phase delay experienced by

a radiofrequency (RF) signal propagating between port 1

and port 2 and is the angle of S

21

, the transmission coef-

ﬁcient from port 1 to port 2. If the angle of S

21

equals the

angle of S

12

, the transmission coefﬁcient from port 2 to

port 1, the phase shifter is reciprocal, while if these two

angles are not equal the device is nonreciprocal. The

phase shifter consists of (1) a microwave circuit contain-

ing magnetized ferrite whose purpose is to provide a vari-

able insertion phase to the RF signal and (2) an electrical

circuit containing electronic components whose purpose is

to vary the magnetic bias of the ferrite and control the

amount of variable insertion phase. Because the state-of-

the-art of electronic control circuits changes rapidly de-

pending on device availability, the focus of the following

discussion will be on the microwave portion of the ferrite

phase shifter and the electronic control techniques will be

limited to basic principles.

The use of magnetized ferrite to provide the variable

phase shift was recognized as early as 1953 [1]. Phase

shifter applications were stimulated by the discovery of

the reciprocal, ferrite phase shifter in 1957 [2] and the

latching ferrite phase shifter in 1958 [3]. During the

1960s, major efforts were undertaken on phase shifter de-

velopment, and the toroid phase shifter [4] and dual-mode

phase shifter [5] evolved into their present conﬁgurations

during this decade. The rotary-ﬁeld phase shifter was

reported in the early 1970s [6].

Although they ﬁnd application in many areas, the ma-

jor use of ferrite phase shifters are as phase shifting ele-

ments in electronic scanning antennas where the data

rate is high enough to preclude the use of a mechanical

scanning antenna or where the aperture must be shared

by several functions requiring the antenna have an agile

beam shape. Antennas used for systems tracking large

numbers of targets such as the AWACS (airborne warning

and control system) require data rates not attainable with

mechanical scanning antennas. A ground-based air de-

fense system such as the Patriot must track a particular

target while continuing to search for other threats neces-

sitating an electronic scanning system. Ferrite phase

shifters are also used as feed elements for reﬂector anten-

nas where the pattern of the reﬂector may be changed by

changing the feed pattern providing different coverages.

Electronic control is desirable since the system may be lo-

cated in space and the reliability of mechanical switches is

not adequate. Other antenna feeds use four phase shifters

to provide a variable phase to each quadrant of the an-

tenna resulting in a conical scanning beam for the anten-

na. A third use is as the variable element in microwave

circuits used for high-power switches and variable-power

dividers and combiners. Because of the low insertion loss

and excellent phase accuracy attainable with ferrite phase

shifters, high-power electronic switches with insertion

loss as low as 0.5 dB and with isolations approaching

À40 dB may be realized. A circuit providing variable

phase shift in each leg of a bridge circuit has been used

to combine the azimuth and elevation difference signals

from a monopulse antenna and by properly phasing the

signals compensate electronically for aircraft roll. Finally,

ferrite phase shifters have been used as Doppler simula-

tors, frequency translators, and so on.

1. FERRITE MATERIALS AND PROPERTIES

A material is called magnetic if it exhibits a magnetic mo-

ment in the absence of an applied magnetic ﬁeld. The

magnetic moment is due to the presence in the material of

at least two different electronic spin systems. If these spin

systems are equal and parallel, the material is ferromag-

netic; if the spin systems are equal and antiparallel, the

material is antiferromagnetic; and if the spin systems are

unequal and antiparallel, the material is ferrimagnetic

and is generically referred to as ferrite. Ferrite materials

are ionic crystals with no free electrons, resulting in

high resistivity and making them potentially useful for

FERRITE PHASE SHIFTERS 1497

application in the microwave and millimeter frequency

ranges. Two types of ferrites both with cubic crystalline

structure but one (spinels) having structure similar to

spinel and the other (garnets) having the garnet structure

have been used for phase shifter fabrication. A sample of

ferrite material of a size required for microwave compo-

nents usually does not exhibit a net magnetic moment in

the absence of an external bias ﬁeld. The material is com-

posed of magnetic domains; each of these exhibits a net

magnetic moment but is randomly aligned, resulting in

zero net magnetic moment when summed over the sample.

Application of an external magnetic bias ﬁeld rotates the

domains that align with the bias ﬁeld and produce a net

magnetization. When all domains in a sample are aligned,

the material is saturated and the magnetization is called

the saturation magnetization 4pM

S

. A virgin sample of

material exhibits a magnetization curve similar to that of

iron.

When the magnetizing current is removed, some mag-

netic ﬂux may remain in the sample, and a current in the

opposite direction must be applied to reduce this ﬂux to

zero. This phenomenon is called hysteresis. A ferrite ma-

terial formed in a closed loop exhibits a hysteresis loop

similar to that shown in Fig. 1, where the squareness of

the loop is a function of the chemical composition of the

material. The magnetic ﬁeld intensity required to reduce

the magnetic ﬂux density to zero is called the coercive force

H

c

, while that magnetic ﬂux density remaining after the

magnetic ﬁeld intensity has been reduced to zero is called

the remanent ﬂux density B

r

. Magnetic material proper-

ties are sensitive to temperature; and above a certain

temperature, called the Curie temperature, the magnetic

properties vanish.

Ferrite phase shifters require values of saturation mag-

netization ranging from approximately 200 to 5500 G

(gauss) (the maximum attainable value with commercial-

ly available materials). By substituting aluminum ions for

ferric ions in YIG, the saturation magnetization may be

reduced from 1780 gauss (the value for pure YIG) to about

175 G. For the lithium spinel family the substitution of

titanium ions for ferric ions is used, and both aluminum

and zinc separately or in combination have been used to

vary the saturation magnetization for the magnesium–

manganese ferrite family and the nickel ferrite family. In

general, when substitution is made the Curie temperature

is lowered from that of the unadulterated material. Dop-

ing with rare-earth ions may be used to increase peak

power capacity, although the insertion loss may increase

slightly.

Phase shifters providing variable values of insertion

phase operate with the ferrite partially magnetized. The

ferrite exhibits a tensor permeability whose on-diagonal

elements m vary slightly as a function of the applied mag-

netization. The off-diagonal elements of the tensor 7jk are

equal but of opposite sign, leading to the nonreciprocal

behavior of ferrite devices. These off-diagonal elements

are in phase quadrature with the on-diagonal elements

and are proportional to the ratio of applied magnetization

to saturation magnetization. If the RF energy is circularly

polarized, the effective permeability of the ferrite medium

is equal to (mþk) for one sense of circular polarization and

(m Àk) for the other sense of circular polarization, both of

which are dependent on the applied magnetization

through the off-diagonal element of the permeability ten-

sor. The permittivity of the ferrite is scalar with a dielec-

tric constant in the range 10–18. The dielectric loss

tangent of ferrite is about 0.0002 for garnets, 0.0003 for

magnesium spinels, 0.0005 for lithium spinels, and 0.001

for nickel spinels.

Phase shifter characteristics determined by the micro-

wave circuit are the mode of operation, either reciprocal or

nonreciprocal; operating frequency; instantaneous and

tunable bandwidth; polarization of the input and the out-

put signals; peak and average RF power; insertion loss

and modulation of the insertion loss; and return loss. Pa-

rameters determined by the microwave circuit and the

electrical control circuit are phase quantization, phase ac-

curacy, switching time, switching rate, and control power.

Physical parameters of the phase shifter include size;

weight; cooling requirements; input interfaces for RF sig-

nal, data, and control power; and output interfaces for RF

signal and built-in test. The phase shifter must conform

with environmental requirements such as operating and

storage temperature range, operating and transportation

shock, operating and transportation vibration, and oper-

ating and storage humidity. Finally, requirements gener-

ally exist for the reliability, interchangeability, and

maintainability of the phase shifter.

2. TYPES OF FERRITE PHASE SHIFTERS

Many ferrite phase shifters are described in the literature,

but only three types have been produced in quantity and

deployed in the ﬁeld in various antenna systems. The one

characteristic shared by these three different devices is an

insertion loss less than 1 dB. System and antenna design-

ers are unwilling to use devices with higher loss because of

B

r

H

c

B

H

−H

c

−B

r

Figure 1. Ferrite hysteresis loop for a square-loop material de-

ﬁning the remanent magnetization B

r

and the coercive force H

c

.

1498 FERRITE PHASE SHIFTERS

reduction in antenna gain and cooling problems associated

with dissipation of the transmitter power in the antenna.

The J-STARS airborne surveillance system, the Patriot

mobile, ground-based air defense system, and the Aegis

naval air defense system use variations of the nonrecip-

rocal toroidal phase shifter. This device operates in a non-

reciprocal mode, requiring that the phase shifter be

switched immediately after the transmitter pulse to pro-

vide the proper phase shift for propagation in the receive

direction. The phase shifter is switched again just prior to

the next transmitter pulse, resulting in a switching rate

twice the pulse repetition rate of the radar. Switching time

is a few microseconds depending on operating frequency.

This type of phase shifter may be designed to have ex-

tremely wide operating bandwidth approaching 2 octaves

in some cases.

The second type of phase shifter, also nonreciprocal,

consists of a longitudinally magnetized ferrite rod located

on the axis of either square or circular waveguide. Several

of the ground-based, mobile air defense systems of the

Confederation of Independent States use these phase

shifters in antennas, radiating one sense of circular

polarization and receiving the orthogonal sense of circu-

lar polarization—the ‘‘single bounce’’ return. An adapta-

tion of the phase shifter that provides reciprocal phase

shift is referred to as the ‘‘dual mode’’ device and has

been successfully employed in several antenna designs

most notably the multimode offensive radar systems

of the B-1B. Switching times for these phase shifters are

in the tens of microseconds depending on the frequency

of operation. Operating bandwidth is more modest

than the toroid phase shifter, typically being 10–15%,

although 40% bandwidth has been achieved for experi-

mental devices.

The phase shifters described above provide a variable

insertion phase by varying the magnitude of the bias mag-

netic ﬁeld, resulting in a variation in the equivalent in-

ductance of the waveguide and yielding a variable

propagation delay through the device. The ﬁnal phase

shifter described in this section does not use this phenom-

enon but rather makes use of the variation in the direction

of the bias magnetic ﬁeld to effect change in insertion

phase with no change in the propagation delay. Because of

the similarity of the phase shifter to the rotary-vane [7]

mechanical phase shifter, it has been called the rotary-

ﬁeld phase shifter. The rotary-vane device uses a dielectric

vane to realize a half-wave plate that can be rotated

about the axis of a circular waveguide housing. A circu-

larly polarized RF signal receives phase shift when pass-

ing through the half-wave plate equal to twice the

mechanical angle of rotation of the half-wave plate. Sub-

stitution of a transversely magnetized ferrite rod for the

dielectric half-wave plate results in an electrically vari-

able version of this phase shifter. This phase shifter has

been employed in a single-axis scanning conﬁguration for

the antenna for the AWACS surveillance aircraft and for

several single-axis scanning, ground-based, mobile air de-

fense systems. The switching time for the device is of the

order of hundreds of microseconds, and the operating

bandwidth is about the same as that of the dual-mode

phase shifter.

2.1. Toroidal Phase Shifters

The toroidal phase shifter consists of one or more ferrite

toroids inserted into a rectangular waveguide as shown in

Fig. 2. The cross section shown in Fig. 3a is the original

version of the toroidal phase shifter reported by Truehaft

and Silber (3) in 1958. The toroid is fabricated from a ma-

terial with a square hysteresis loop. Current ﬂowing in the

switching wire induces a magnetic ﬂux in the toroid that

remains after the current is removed. The phase shifter is

said to be ‘‘latched’’; operation in this mode is desirable

since control energy is required only when the phase shift-

er is set to a new state. The magnetic ﬁeld intensity of the

TE

10

mode in a rectangular waveguide is circularly polar-

ized in a longitudinal plane parallel to the narrow wall of

the waveguide and located a distance from the waveguide

centerline, which makes the longitudinal magnetic ﬁeld

intensity equal in magnitude to the transverse magnetic

ﬁeld intensity. The opposite sense of circular polarization

exists in the longitudinal plane located the same distance

on the other side of the waveguide centerline. If a sample

of magnetized ferrite is placed in the region of circular

polarization, a strong interaction between the RF and the

ferrite will occur, provided the direction of the bias ﬁeld is

interchanged on either side of the waveguide centerline.

The geometry shown in Fig. 3b makes more efﬁcient

use of the ferrite toroid and provides more total phase shift

than the geometry of Fig. 3a at a minimal increase in in-

sertion loss by loading the ‘‘window’’ in the toroid with a

dielectric. The dielectric loading effect of the ferrite toroid

and dielectric used to load the toroid window distorts the

behavior of the ﬁelds of the waveguide mode so that the

region of circular polarization no longer lies in the same

plane as that of the air-ﬁlled waveguide. Computer-aided

analysis programs have been evolved [8,9] to predict the

performance of the phase shifter as a function of toroid

placement and dielectric loading. A disadvantage of the

geometries shown in Figs. 3a and 3b is the excitation of

the TEM mode, which is easily established by the switch-

ing wire coupling to the rectangular waveguide. Two

toroids separated by a dielectric slab spacer as shown in

Switching wire

Ferrite toroid

Rectangular waveguide

Figure 2. Prototypical toroidal phase shifter. First described in

the 1950s, this device was the ﬁrst latching, ferrite phase shifter.

By pulsing the switching wire the ﬂux may be latched to either

þB

r

or ÀB

r

. Sustaining drive current is not required.

FERRITE PHASE SHIFTERS 1499

Fig. 3c reduce this coupling by concentrating the RF en-

ergy in the region adjacent to the dielectric slab and lo-

cating the switching wires in regions of very low RF

energy. This geometry is referred to as the dual-toroid

and has come to be the preferred realization for this class

device.

The ferrite–dielectric composite is housed in a rectan-

gular waveguide that typically has a cross section smaller

than that of the connecting waveguide because of the di-

electric loading. Quarter-wave transformers are used to

match into and out of the ferrite–dielectric composite.

These transformers increase the length of the device but

do not contribute significantly to the insertion loss. When

the connecting transmission line is a TEM-type line such

as microstrip, a high dielectric constant (E100) material

may be used as the dielectric spacer to reduce the cross-

sectional dimensions of the phase shifter and lower the

characteristic impedance level to around 50 O. This has

the added beneﬁt of reducing the length of the device be-

cause of the increase in electrical length caused by the di-

electric loading. The ferrite toroids are bonded to the high-

dielectric-constant rib, and the composite is coated with a

conducting material to form the waveguide. Connection to

the TEM line may be made with a short length of wire

with a chip capacitor located at the point of connection of

the wire to the phase shifter in order to resonate the in-

ductance of the wire loop.

In order to establish a reference condition for the phase

shifter the toroid is reset; that is, a voltage pulse of mag-

nitude and duration sufﬁcient to saturate the toroidal core

is applied to the control wire. The current in the control

wire remains roughly constant until the core saturates, at

which time the current increases sharply. Sensing the

current and removing the drive voltage when a predeter-

mined current has been attained allows the core to relax to

the remanent ﬂux and establishes a stable reference point.

The magnitude of the voltage pulse is not critical for the

reset operation. The set operation establishes a ﬂux level

in the core corresponding to a given value of phase shift.

Faraday’s law states that the change of ﬂux is equal to the

time integral of the applied voltage; a variable ﬂux level

may be set by using a variable amplitude voltage pulse for

a ﬁxed time duration or a ﬁxed amplitude voltage pulse for

a variable time duration. If either the voltage or the pulse-

width varies substantially from that used to calibrate the

phase shifter, the error in setting the ﬂux may be exces-

sive and resorting to more complicated methods such as

integration of the voltage pulse may be necessary. Typical

switching waveforms are shown in Fig. 4.

During switching, the toroidal core presents a resistive

load to the source. Application of a voltage pulse to the

control wire results in a current pulse whose amplitude is

determined by Ampere’s law, NI ¼

_

H dl. The magnetic

ﬁeld intensity is constant and equal to the coercive force,

the number of turns is unity, and the integral of dl is equal

to the mean length around the ferrite toroid. Thus I ¼H

c

l.

The ﬂux change from one remanent state to the other re-

manent state is 2B

r

A, where B

r

is the remanent ﬂux den-

sity and A is the cross-sectional area of the toroid normal

to the direction of ﬂux. For a constant voltage Vapplied to

the core for a time T, VT¼2B

r

A, yielding a switching time

T¼2B

r

A/V. This is the maximum value of the time to es-

tablish the reset condition; the total switching time would

Air Air

Air

Switching wire

Ferrite

Air Air

Switching wire

Switching wire

Ferrite

Dielectric

Dielectric

Ferrite

Ferrite

(a)

(b)

(c)

Air Air

Figure 3. Evolution of the toroidal phase shifter into the twin-

toroid device. The window inside the toroid is loaded with high

dielectric material in order to improve the phase shifter RF per-

formance in (b) while in (c) another toroid is added that greatly

decouples the switching wires from the RF ﬁeld.

Voltage

Current

Reset Set

t

t

Figure 4. Switching waveforms of the latching phase shifter

when driven from a constant voltage source. The voltage remains

approximately constant during switching until the ferrite satu-

rates. Saturation of the core to obtain a stable reset state is ex-

hibited by the abrupt rise in the current in the reset waveform.

The area under the voltage waveform for the set pulse determines

the amount of ﬂux switched into the ferrite core and hence the

amount of phase shift.

1500 FERRITE PHASE SHIFTERS

be at least twice this value. Increasing the applied voltage

reduces the switching time and increases the dynamic

core resistance, which is given by R¼2B

r

A/(TH

c

l).

2.2. Dual-Mode Phase Shifters

Latching operation of the ferrite rod phase shifter is real-

ized by ﬁlling the waveguide completely with ferrite and

providing a magnetic return path for the bias ﬂux through

the use of external ferrite yokes as shown in Fig. 5. The

control power is furnished by a coil that is wound around

the waveguide. Again the insertion phase of the device is

dependent on the value of magnetic ﬂux existing in the

ferrite rod, and variable phase is realized by changing this

value. The RF energy propagating through the ferrite rod

must be circularly polarized, which may require the input

polarization be converted from linear polarization to cir-

cular polarization. Each sense of circular polarization re-

ceives a different value of insertion phase when

propagated through the device, and these values are in-

terchanged when either the direction of propagation or the

direction of magnetization is reversed. However, if an an-

tenna uses these phase shifters and receives the ‘‘single

bounce’’ return, transmitting right-hand circular and re-

ceiving left-hand circular or vice versa, switching between

transmit and receive is not required.

Adaptation of the ferrite rod phase shifter to the recip-

rocal dual-mode phase shifter is illustrated schematically

in Fig. 6, and the physical realization of the phase shifter

is shown in Fig. 7. Nonreciprocal circular polarizers

(NCPs) located on either end of the ferrite rod function

as the circulators shown in the schematic diagram con-

verting linearly polarized RF energy into circularly polar-

ized RF energy and vice versa. The NCP physically

consists of a section of the ferrite rod that is transverse-

ly magnetized with a four-pole bias ﬁeld by a permanent

magnet located exterior to the microwave circuit. This

four-pole bias ﬁeld provides a differential phase shift of 901

to cross-polarized signals. If the input to the NCP is

linearly polarized at an angle of 451 with respect to the

axis of the NCP, the output will be circularly polarized

with the sense of circular polarization depending on the

orientation of the input linear polarization. For a circu-

larly polarized input signal, the output of the NCP will be

linearly polarized with orientation depending on the sense

of the circularly polarized input signal. The NCP on the

left side of the device in Fig. 7 converts input linear po-

larization into right-hand circular polarization in the fer-

rite rod section when RF energy is propagated from left to

right. This circularly polarized energy receives a variable

value of insertion phase dependent on the magnitude of

the remanent bias ﬂux density in the ferrite rod. The cir-

cular polarization is then restored to linear polarization by

the NCP on the right side of the ﬁgure. For propagation

from right to left, the RF energy in the ferrite rod is con-

verted to left-hand circular polarization by the NCP on the

right side of the ﬁgure, resulting in the signal receiving

the same value of variable insertion phase irrespective of

the direction of propagation through the device. The sig-

nal is restored to linear polarization by the NCP located on

the left side of the device.

The electronic control of the dual-mode device is similar

to that used for the toroid, but two major exceptions exist.

Figure 5. The Faraday rotation phase shifter. The ferrite-ﬁlled

circular waveguide provides the signal path for the RF energy.

Longitudinal magnetization is obtained using a drive coil

wrapped around the ferrite rod. Latching operation is realized

using latching yokes for a return path for the bias magnetic ﬂux.

1

[

2

[

2

[

2

[

Figure 6. A reciprocal phase shifter realized using four nonre-

ciprocal components. The two circulators and two nonreciprocal

phase shifters provide port-to-port reciprocal behavior.

Nonreciprocal

circular polarizer;

2 places

Ferrite-filled

circular waveguide

Drive coil

Latching yoke

Dielectric transformer

Waveguide flange;

2 places

Latching yoke

Figure 7. Physical realization of the dual-mode reciprocal phase

shifter. This compact realization of the schematic shown in Fig. 6

has proved to be compatible with the packaging requirements for

electronic scanned phased array antennas with wide-scan-angle

requirements.

FERRITE PHASE SHIFTERS 1501

The drive coil is almost always a multiturn coil, which re-

sults in the apparent resistance and inductance of the fer-

rite core being increased by the square of the number of

turns of the drive coil. Second, the waveguide walls do not

enclose the magnetic circuit in its entirety. The magnetic

ﬂux cuts through the waveguide walls as it passes from

the ferrite rod and is returned through the external yokes,

resulting in an induced voltage in the waveguide walls

whenever the ﬂux is changed. Since the waveguide walls

are made of low-resistivity material, a low-resistance path

allows eddy currents to ﬂow in the waveguide walls and

produces the phenomenon called shorted-turn damping.

This effect may be modeled by including a parallel resis-

tance due to this damping in the equivalent-circuit of the

phase shifter.

2.3. Rotary-Field Phase Shifters

The geometry of the rotary-ﬁeld phase shifter is shown in

Fig. 8. A composite ferrite–dielectric rod is metallized with

a thin metallic coating to form the microwave portion of

the circuit. This is inserted into a laminated steel yoke

that provides the variable magnetic bias ﬁeld. The rod–

yoke assembly is housed in a two-piece metallic housing

that interfaces to standard rectangular waveguide. Two

interlaced windings wound on the multislot yoke generate

the four-pole bias ﬁeld. Dielectric quarter-wave plates on

either end of the ferrite rod convert linearly polarized RF

energy to circularly polarized energy, and vice versa, for

propagation through the ferrite half-wave section.

The linearly polarized RF input signal is converted to

circularly polarized energy by means of the dielectric

quarter-wave plate. This circularly polarized energy pass-

es through the ferrite half-wave plate and receives a

variable phase shift dependent on the orientation of the

ferrite half-wave plate. At the output of the ferrite half-

wave plate the sense of circular polarization is reversed,

allowing the output dielectric quarter-wave plate to

reconstitute the same sense of linear polarization as the

input polarization. The phase shift through the device is

the same for either direction of propagation so that it is

referred to as a reciprocal device. In the strictest sense it is

nonreciprocal since a ﬁxed 1801 phase shift exists between

signals propagating through it in opposite directions.

Latching operation of the rotary-ﬁeld device was re-

ported in 1995 [10] and units presently deployed operate

with continuous holding current, resulting in a substan-

tial DC power supply for array applications. This has lim-

ited the device to single-axis electronic scanning antenna

applications such as the surveillance antenna for the

AWACS aircraft. Typically the electronic control for these

devices are two parallel drivers to control the two inde-

pendent windings on the yoke, with the control current on

one winding set proportional to the cosine of the desired

phase angle and the control current on the remaining

winding set proportional to the sine of the desired phase

angle.

3. PHASE SHIFTER CHARACTERISTICS

Most phase shifter designs are custom designs having

been developed for specific purposes and programs. Spe-

cific operating parameters will not be provided, but rather

general electrical and physical characteristics will be dis-

cussed. Finally, typical numbers are provided for the

reliability of the devices.

3.1. Electrical Characteristics

Electrical characteristics of importance are the operating

mode (reciprocal/nonreciprocal), the operating frequency,

the instantaneous bandwidth, the tunable bandwidth, the

input polarization, the output polarization, the peak and

average RF power, the insertion loss and the insertion loss

modulation, the return loss, the quantization of the phase

shift, the phase accuracy, the switching time, the switch-

ing rate, and the control power. Although it would seem

that reciprocal operation would be preferred over nonre-

ciprocal operation, there are many more nonreciprocal

phase shifters deployed than reciprocal ones. The interac-

tion of ferrite with RF energy is nonreciprocal and histor-

ically the earlier successful phase shifters were the

nonreciprocal toroidal types. The choice of operating

mode is generally dictated by system requirements; and

in several cases such as communication satellites, nonre-

ciprocal operation is not a handicap.

The operating frequency is another choice of the system

designer with phase shifters having been developed from

1.4 to 94 GHz. The instantaneous bandwidth refers to the

frequency band over which the phase shift remains within

speciﬁed tolerances, while the tunable bandwidth refers to

the frequency band over which the phase shifter may be

adjusted to bring the phase shift within the speciﬁed tol-

erance. The nonreciprocal toroidal phase shifter has been

designed to yield two octaves of instantaneous bandwidth,

while the dual-mode phase shifter and the rotary-ﬁeld

phase shifter yield instantaneous bandwidths in the 2–4%

range with tunable bandwidth of the order of 15%.

Figure 8. The rotary-ﬁeld phase shifter. This device provides

excellent phase accuracy and is capable of relatively high values

of RF power.

1502 FERRITE PHASE SHIFTERS

The input and output polarization depends on the ap-

plication for which the phase shifter is intended and may

be either linear or circular or switchable between the var-

ious linear and circular polarizations. The nonreciprocal

toroidal phase shifter operates in a linearly polarized

waveguide mode so that the input and output polariza-

tions are linearly polarized. The dual-mode phase shifter

may use circularly polarized input–output polarization

operating in the non-reciprocal mode or linearly polarized

input–output polarizations when operating in the recipro-

cal mode. This phase shifter lends itself well to incorpo-

rating polarization switching so that various output

polarizations are available even when the phase shifter

is excited with a linearly polarized input. The rotary-ﬁeld

phase shifter usually uses linearly polarized input and

output signals, although this is not required.

The peak RF power capacity of a ferrite phase shifter is

determined by the choice of ferrite used to realize the

phase shifter. If the RF magnetic ﬁeld intensity exceeds a

threshold value, excitation of spin waves results and the

RF insertion loss increases substantially. Doping of garnet

material with rare-earth ions may be used to increase the

threshold value, but at the expense of increased low power

insertion loss. The average RF power capacity of a phase

shifter is determined by the mechanical design and may

be increased only by improving the heat ﬂow path away

from the ferrite.

The insertion loss of the phase shifter, as mentioned

previously, should be below 1 dB in order to merit consid-

eration from antenna designers. Of the phase shifters dis-

cussed, the rotary-ﬁeld device has the lowest loss with

values as low as 0.3 dB obtained in production quantities

for a device operating in the 5 GHz frequency range. The

toroidal phase shifter and the dual-mode phase shifters

have insertion loss in the range from 0.6 to 1.0 dB. The

variation of the insertion loss as a function of the insertion

phase of the device is greatest for the reciprocal devices,

generally of the order 0.2–0.4 dB, while the toroidal device

has loss modulation less than 0.1dB.

The return loss of the ferrite phase shifters depends on

the RF input and output connections, and values cited will

be for linearly polarized input–output conﬁgurations. The

toroidal phase shifter generally has a maximum value of

return loss of À20 dB, while the reciprocal phase shifters

have maximum values of return loss of the order of À14 to

À17 dB.

Ferrite phase shifters are generally designed to provide

3601 of electrical phase shift. Early ferrite phase shifters

were realized using discrete lengths of ferrite to provide

quantization of the phase shift in steps of 1801, 901, 451,

and 22.51. This method results in a simple electronic driv-

er design but a complicated microwave structure. Modern

ferrite phase shifters are realized using a continuous piece

of ferrite in order to minimize the cost of the microwave

structure, resulting in a continuous range of phase shift.

Quantization is provided by the electronic driver. Since

the driver commands are distributed over the total range

of phase shift, which is often greater than 3601, the ﬁnal

quantization is 1 bit less than that provided by the elec-

tronic driver; that is, an 8-bit driver command results in

7-bit phase shift quantization. Quantization levels greater

than this are found in the control electronics of variable

power dividers/combiners but rarely are used in other

phase shifter applications.

The phase accuracy of the phase shifter refers to the

precision with which the insertion phase of the device may

be set. For the toroid phase shifter, this parameter is a

function of the stability of the reset state, the operating

frequency, and the operating temperature, and accuracies

of the order of 2–31 RMS error can be achieved. Improve-

ments in accuracy can be achieved at the expense of added

calibration. For the dual-mode phase shifter the align-

ment of the nonreciprocal polarizer magnets is another

source of phase error, and accuracies of the order of 3–41

RMS error are common with this device. The rotary-ﬁeld

phase shifter may be set very accurately since the inser-

tion phase is proportional to the ratio of the two currents

that control the rotation angle of the magnetic bias ﬁeld.

Typical phase accuracies for this device are in the range

1–1.51 RMS and are not particularly sensitive to frequency

and/or temperature.

The switching time of the phase shifter is the time re-

quired to establish a new insertion phase state and in-

cludes the times for resetting and setting the toroid and

dual-mode phase shifter. The switching time is a function

of the operating frequency since the size of the phase

shifter is dependent on the frequency. Typical switching

times for a toroid phase shifter range from about 20 ms at

2 GHz operating frequency to about 5ms at 20 GHz. Typ-

ical switching times for a dual-mode phase shifter range

from about 200ms at 5 GHz to about 50 ms at 20 GMz. The

nonlatching rotary-ﬁeld phase shifter requires switching

times ranging from 200ms at 3 GHz to about 100ms at

10 GHz but requires a high-voltage boost circuit in order

to attain these speeds. The switching rate of the phase

shifter is generally determined by system requirements,

where the control power is directly proportional to the

switching rate.

3.2. Physical Characteristics

Important physical characteristics of the phase shifter are

the size, the weight, the cooling requirements, and the

physical location of the input and output interfaces. The

size is dictated by the operating frequency, average power

requirements, and type of phase shifter. In general the

toroid phase shifter has the smallest cross section, and the

rotary-ﬁeld phase shifter has the largest cross section with

the dual-mode somewhere between the two. The weight of

the phase shifter is proportional to size; the toroid phase

shifter is generally the lightest weight unit, the rotary

ﬁeld the heaviest, and the dual-mode in between the two.

The RF interfaces are the input and output RF ports,

which may be coaxial cable, microstrip transmission line,

rectangular waveguide, radiating elements into free

space, or any combination of these. Electrical interfaces

consist of the input data and any output data, such as

built-in-test, control, power, and ground.

The electrical and mechanical design must be such that

the phase shifter meets the speciﬁed values over operating

temperatures ranging from À40 to þ951C. In many cases

a reduced temperature range for full performance with

FERRITE PHASE SHIFTERS 1503

degraded performance over the temperature extremes is

allowed. Nonoperating temperatures normally range from

À55 to þ1251C. Operating shock and vibration require-

ments are determined by the mechanical design of the

system and the phase shifter mounting.

The reliability of the phase shifter as measured by the

mean time before failure (MTBF) is an important consid-

eration. The microwave portion of the phase shifter has

high reliability since it is composed of a ferrite core and

associated windings. The overall reliability is generally

determined by the electronic driver with values of roughly

200,000 h for the latching phase shifters and values of

50,000h for the nonlatching phase shifters because of the

requirement for continuous drive current.

4. FUTURE DEVELOPMENTS

Two developments in waveguide devices offer promise.

The ﬁrst is an attempt to provide a reciprocal phase shift-

er using the toroid phase shifter in a geometry similar to

that of the dual-mode device but using microstrip circula-

tors. The difﬁculty with this approach is that the micro-

strip circulator is realized naturally as a three-port device

and the schematic diagram of Fig. 6 requires a four-port

circulator to adequately isolate the input and output ports.

Work continues in this development. The second develop-

ment in the waveguide area is the latching rotary-ﬁeld

phase shifter, which has been reported in the literature [6]

but has not been deployed in the ﬁeld. Data taken on ex-

perimental units are very encouraging.

There is a continuing effort to develop a ferrite phase

shifter in a planar geometry suitable for integration with

microstrip transmission line. The literature contains many

references to these devices, but the insertion loss continues

to be a drawback to deployment. The textbook cited in the

Further Reading section contains several examples of pla-

nar phase shifters as well as many references.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

1. N. G. Sakiotis and H. N. Chait, Ferrites at microwaves, Proc.

IRE 41:87–93 (1953).

2. F. Reggia and E. G. Spencer, A new technique in ferrite phase

shifting for beam scanning of microwave antennas, Proc. IRE

45:1510–1517 (1957).

3. M. A. Treuhaft and L. M. Silber, Use of microwave ferrite to-

roids to eliminate external magnets and reduce switching

power, Proc. IRE 46:1538 (1958).

4. W. J. Ince and E. Stern, Non-reciprocal remanence phase

shifters in rectangular waveguide, IEEE Trans. Microwave

Theory Tech. 15:87–95 (1967).

5. C. R. Boyd, Jr., A dual-mode latching reciprocal ferrite phase

shifter, IEEE Trans. Microwave Theory Tech. 18:1119–1124

(1970).

6. C. R. Boyd, Jr. and G. Klein, A precision analog duplexing

phase shifter, IEEE Int. Microwave Symp. Digest 248–250

(1972).

7. A. G. Fox, An adjustable waveguide phase changer, Proc. IRE

35:1489–1498 (l947).

8. E. Schloemann, Theoretical analysis of twin-slab phase shift-

ers in rectangular waveguide, IEEE Trans. Microwave Theory

Tech. 14:15–23 (1966).

9. J. L. Allen, D. R. Taft, and F. K. Hurd, Computer-aided design

of ferrite devices using intrinsic material parameters, J. Appl.

Phys. 38:1407–1408 (1967).

10. C. R. Boyd, Jr., A latching ferrite rotary-ﬁeld phase shifter,

IEEE Int. Microwave Symp. Digest 103–106 (1995).

FURTHER READING

S. K. Koul and B. Bhat, Microwave and Millimeter Wave Phase

Shifters, Vol. I: Dielectric and Ferrite Phase Shifters, Artech

House, Norwood, MA, 1991.

FERROELECTRIC MATERIALS

R. K. PANDEY

The University of Alabama

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

1. INTRODUCTION

Before discussing the fundamentals of ferroelectric mate-

rials and their applications, it is important to acquire

some background on how any material, especially insula-

tors such as ferroelectrics, behave under the equilibrium

conditions given by forces such as electrical, mechanical,

and thermal. Each of these forces gives rise to certain

properties depending on the basic physical nature of the

material. For example, an electric ﬁeld (E) causes dis-

placement (D) [or polarization (P)], stress (T

ij

) causes

strain (S

ij

), and entropy (S) is caused by temperature

(T). These effects are not isolated from each other. In

fact, when the system is in equilibrium, they interact

with each other and give rise to additional properties. It

is helpful to understand the relationship between these

effects in order to appreciate the nature and properties of

electronic and other materials.

In 1925 Heckmann [1] proposed an equilibrium dia-

gram between electrical ﬁeld, temperature, and stress,

which was later modiﬁed by Nye [2] in 1957. A simpliﬁed

version of this diagram is given in Fig. 1. It is assumed

that the system is in equilibrium and the properties can be

described with reference to changes that are thermody-

namically reversible. Interaction between stress (T

ij

) and

displacement (D) causes direct piezoelectric effect whereas

the converse piezoelectric effect is caused by the strain

(S

ij

) and electric ﬁeld (E). The relationship between dis-

placement and temperature is called the pyroelectric effect.

The piezoelectric and pyroelectric effects are inherently

important for discussing ferroelectricity.

The interactions between the three principal agents

(E, T

ij

, and T ) within themselves and between the sec-

ondary agents such as displacement (D), strain (S

ij

), and

entropy (S) are responsible for materials to acquire certain

properties. Many of them are identiﬁed in Fig. 1. However,

for our purpose we need to consider only two more effects:

1504 FERROELECTRIC MATERIALS

(1) the thermal expansion effect, which is caused by the

interaction between strain (S

ij

) and temperature (T); and

(2) the heat of deformation, which originates from the in-

teraction between the strain (S

ij

) and entropy (S). Both

these, especially the thermal expansion coefﬁcient, is a

very important parameter for the selection of a suitable

substrate for the growth of piezoelectric or ferroelectric

ﬁlms to produce integrated structured devices for many

novel applications.

The three parameters—entropy, displacement, and

strain—undergo small changes corresponding to the small

changes experienced by the agent’s temperature, electric

ﬁeld, and stress, respectively. Mathematically they can be

represented by the following three simple relationships

ds ¼

C

v

T

dT ð1Þ

where c

v

is the specific heat per unit volume and it is as-

sumed that the system is in equilibrium and fully revers-

ible; and

dD

i

¼k

ij

dE

j

ð2Þ

where k

ij

is the permittivity tensor and

dS

ij

¼s

ijkl

dT

ij

ð3Þ

where s

ijkl

is the elastic compliance.

In discussing ferroelectric materials and associated

topics, we will make use of these concepts in gaining a

good insight into the ﬁeld of ferroelectricity.

The phenomenon now universally known as ferroelec-

tricity got its name more because of its phenomenological

similarity with ferromagnetism than because of the un-

derlying physics describing these two phenomena found in

materials. The name is deceptive in some sense. Ferro-

electricity, as the word implies, leads us to assume that it

has something to do with iron (ferum in Latin). In reality

it has hardly anything to do with this magnetic metal. In

fact only a handful of materials having iron (or other

prominent members of the ferromagnetic family such as

nickel and cobalt) have been reported to exhibit ferroelec-

tricity. However, they are certainly not members of the

mainstreamferroelectrics and are rarely researched active-

ly. Some examples are cadmium iron niobate, Cd

2

FeNbO

6

,

some members of the barium ﬂuoride group [e.g., barium

iron ﬂuoride (BaFeF

4

), barium cobalt ﬂuoride (BaCoF

4

),

and barium nickel ﬂuoride (BaNiF

4

)], and antimony sul-

ﬁde-iodide-type compounds such as iron sulﬁde (FeS) [3,4].

Apart from the naturally found mineral FeS, another min-

eral termed ilmenite (FeTiO

3

), containing copper has also

been reported to be ferroelectric with a Curie point of

approximately 580K [5]. No other group has made such

a claim. This author’s research group [6] has searched

extensively for ferroelectricity in laboratory-processed

doped ilmenite without any success.

Almost all well-known ferroelectric materials are man-

made (synthetic), in contrast to leading ferromagnetic ma-

terials, which are found abundantly in nature. Classic

examples are iron, cobalt, and nickel and their alloys. So

far as ferroelectricity is concerned only FeS and FeTiO

3

are naturally found in which the possibility of ferroelec-

tricity might exist. Further research is warranted to

establish the fact.

Ferromagnetism was already a well-established ﬁeld of

science and technology long before the birth of so-called

ferroelectricity. In 1921 Valasek [7] discovered the hyster-

esis effect between polarization and electric ﬁeld in potas-

sium sodium tartarate tetrahydrate (KNaC

4

H

4

O

6

.6 H

2

O),

which is commonly known as Rochelle salt after its dis-

coverer who lived in France in the seventeenth century.

Since its discovery over 80 years ago, the ﬁeld of ferro-

electricity has established itself as an important branch of

D

S

ij

Converse

Piezoelectric

Effect

Direct

Piezoelectric

Effect

Pyroelectric

Effect

E

T

T

ij

Thermal Expansion

Elasticity

Heat Capacity

Piezocaloric

Effect

Permittivity

Piezoelectricity

Pyroelectricity

Thermoelastic Effects

Electrocaloric

Effect

S

Heat of deformation

Figure 1. Modiﬁed equilibrium diagram between electric ﬁeld (E), temperature (T), and stress

(T

ij

) and their associated effects.

FERROELECTRIC MATERIALS 1505

physics and engineering. During this span of time, hun-

dreds of new ferroelectric materials have been discovered

leading to the emergence of novel technologies that exploit

various properties commonly found in ferroelectrics. The

range of applications of this class of materials is vast, en-

compassing the spectrum from classical to ultramodern

applications. On one hand, because of their high dielectric

constant, ruggedness, and the reliability with which the

materials can be processed reproducibly in very large vol-

umes, ferroelectrics are the materials of choice for the

fabrication of capacitors varying in size from miniature,

used in microelectronics, to large, used in power circuits.

On the other extreme, they ﬁnd applications in such mod-

ern technologies as electrooptics, nonvolatile memory, un-

cooled focal plane arrays, microelectromechanical system

(MEMS), and wireless communication.

The physical mechanisms involved in these two ﬁelds

are entirely different and have practically nothing to do

with each other. While ferromagnetism is anchored in the

quantum-mechanical properties of an electron, especially

its spin, ferroelectricity is macroscopic in nature, originat-

ing from the long-range interactions of the electric dipoles

and the noncentrosymmetry of the unit cell of the crystal.

The phenomenological similarity between these two

mechanisms goes beyond the existence of a hysteresis

loop. Like ferromagnetism, ferroelectricity also shows

the existence of the Curie point, at which it ceases to be

ferroelectric and enters the nonpolar phase called the pa-

raelectric state, analogous to paramagnetism. Further-

more, as there are antiferromagnetic materials, there

are also antiferroelectric materials. Both ferromagnetic

and ferroelectric materials have domains, and their struc-

tures help in describing terms such as paramagnetism and

paraelectric as well as antiferromagnetism and antiferro-

electricity. Piezoelectricity and pyroelectricity are inher-

ently present in all ferroelectric materials and are

strongly coupled with each other. In other words, all fer-

roelectrics are piezoelectric as well as pyroelectric, where-

as not all piezoelectrics are ferroelectrics; nor are all

pyroelectrics also ferroelectrics. The simultaneous pres-

ence of piezoelectricity and pyroelectricity in a ferroelec-

tric material makes it truly a multifunctional material

and therefore very attractive for the emerging ﬁelds of

applications where multifunctionality is the most desired

property of a material. Ferromagnetic and ferroelectric

materials are not the only ones that display hysteresis

loops. There is another class of material in which a hys-

teresis loop exists between the stress and the strain; these

are called ferroelastic materials. Grouped together, ferro-

magnetic, ferroelectric, and ferroelastic are called ‘‘ferroic’’

materials.

According to the IEEE standard definitions [8], ferro-

electrics, ferroelastics, and ferromagnetics deﬁne the class

of primary ferroics. It is entirely possible to switch the di-

rection of spontaneous magnetization, spontaneous polar-

ization, or spontaneous strain by applying magnetic or

electric ﬁelds or stresses, respectively. Figure 2 shows the

idealized examples of the three types of hysteresis loops

for typical (a) ferromagnet, (b) ferroelectric, and (c) ferro-

elastic materials [8].

2. FERROELECTRICITY AND ASSOCIATED PHENOMENA

2.1. Background Information

Ferroelectric materials are important members of the fer-

roic group. Compared to magnetism, they represent a rel-

atively new ﬁeld and yet have significantly impacted the

development of electronic technology. As described in the

preceding section, ferroelectric materials are truly multi-

functional in nature because at least two other important

phenomena, namely, piezoelectricity and pyroelectricity,

coexist with them. Even a casual inspection of Fig. 1

makes it obvious that cause and effect between the elec-

tric ﬁeld (E), temperature (T), and mechanical stress (T

ij

)

respectively play a dominant role in inducing dielectric,

electric, and thermal properties in any material. Ferro-

electricity is a typical example of such a manifestation.

Because of the interplay between these forces, special ef-

fects take place, giving rise to distortion of the unit cell of a

crystal structure and rendering it noncentrosymmetric.

Table 1 and Fig. 3 will help in understanding the back-

ground of crystal symmetry, structure, and other classiﬁ-

cations.

As shown in Table 1, the seven crystal systems are di-

vided into three groups based on their optical classiﬁca-

tion. ‘‘Isotropic’’ means that the refractive index of the

cubic crystal remains unchanged irrespective of whether

it is measured in the a, b, or c direction of the crystal; thus,

cubic crystal has no birefringence. The terms tetragonal,

hexagonal, and trigonal are lumped together as uniaxial,

meaning that they have one value of birefringence be-

cause they can have two different values of refractive in-

dex when measured along the different crystallographic

T

31(0)

T

31

S

0

M

M

r

H

c

E

3

(a) (b) (c)

H

3

P

r

P

E

c

S

31

=S

13

Figure 2. Idealized hysteresis loops of typical

(a) ferromagnet, (b) ferroelectric, and (c) ferro-

elastic materials [4].

1506 FERROELECTRIC MATERIALS

directions a, b, or c. Similarly, because of three possible

values of refractive index, the biaxial crystals can have

maximum of two values of birefringence. Such a classiﬁ-

cation is very important for determining the electrooptic

properties of ferroelectrics and other electrooptic crystals.

The third column in Table 1 gives the number of charac-

teristic symmetry for each crystal system. As we can imag-

ine, the order of symmetry is the highest in the cubic

system and the lowest in triclinic. Progressively from the

lowest to the highest order, it goes from triclinic to cubic

system as indicated by the arrow in the last (rightmost)

column.

It is a well-established fact of crystal physics that out

of the seven fundamental crystal systems one can

generate 14 fundamental three-dimensional (3D) conﬁgu-

rations called the unit cells. It was the French physicist

Auguste Bravais in 1850 who ﬁrst demonstrated that,

according to the periodic arrangements of atoms found

in a crystal, there could be only 14 possible arrangements

of atoms in space. These are the famous 14 Bravais

lattices, which are also known as fundamental unit

cells. They can be in four types: primitive (P), body-cen-

tered (I), face-centered (F) and base-centered (C). For

example, a cubic crystal can exist as simple cubic, or

body-centered, or face-centered. Only in the orthorhombic

structure are all four classes of unit cells found. Out of

the possible 14 Bravais lattices, 32 point groups originate.

These are possible combinations of macroscopic symmetry

elements, and once again, on the basis of the atomic

periodicity of crystal, there can be only 32 point

groups.

In Fig. 3 we show how these 32 point groups can be

subdivided into groups of centrosymmetric and noncen-

trosymmetric unit cells. Out of these 32 classes, 11 are

centrosymmetric and 21 noncentrosymmetric. These 21

are theoretically capable of exhibiting either ferroelectric-

ity, piezoelectricity, or pyroelectricity, or a combination

thereof. In reality only 20 of these 21 noncentrosymmetric

crystals do show these properties. One of them has other

symmetry elements, making this a special class of point

groups.

Noncentrosymmetry of the unit cell of a crystal is a

necessary condition for the existence of ferroelectricity, pi-

ezoelectricity and pyroelectricity. Figures 4a and 4b show

a simple representation of a centrosymmetric crystal be-

fore and after being subjected to a mechanical force [9].

Obviously, in the presence of an external force, the inter-

planar distance becomes smaller in the direction of the

applied force. But the crystal still retains its center of

symmetry. From Figs. 5a and 5b we also see that the crys-

tal retains its noncentrosymmetry before and after appli-

cation of an external force while experiencing, as in the

Table 1. Crystal System and Symmetry

Crystal System Optical Classiﬁcation Characteristic Symmetry Order of Symmetry

Cubic Isotropic (also called anaxial) Four 3-fold axes Highest

Tetragonal Uniaxial One 4-fold axis

Hexagonal Uniaxial One 6-fold axis

Trigonal (also called

rhombohedral)

Uniaxial One 3-fold axis

Orthorhombic Biaxial Three mutually perpendicular 2-fold axes;

no axes of higher order

Monoclinic Biaxial One 2-fold axis

Triclinic Biaxial A center of symmetry or no symmetry at all Lowest

7 Crystal Systems

14 Bravais lattices

32 point groups

21 noncentrosymmetric

(polar groups)

11 centrosymmetric

(nonpolar groups)

7 crystal systems

Other symmetry elements still

can be present in 1 out of the 21

polar groups

10 can be spontaneously polarized

and show pyroelectricity as well as

piezoelectricity ; the spontaneous

polarization is not reversible

20 show piezoelectric effect

(polarized under mechanical stress)

Ferroelectricity is found in the remaining

10, and the spontaneous polarization

is reversible

Figure 3. Point groups and their subgroups.

FERROELECTRIC MATERIALS 1507

previous case, contraction in the interplanar distance

along the direction of the force [9].

2.2. Parameters, Symbols, and Units

As are many other ﬁelds of science, ferroelectricity is also

described by inconsistent symbols spread over decades of

literature. This causes confusion, which might lead to

misinterpretation of phenomena and the applications orig-

inating from their properties. To avoid such confusion, we

follow here the definitions and symbols recommended by

the Committee of the Institute of Electrical and Electron-

ics Engineers, Inc. (IEEE). This group was charged with

developing standard definitions of terms used in ferroelec-

tricity and associated polar phenomena of piezoelectricity

as well as pyroelectricity [8]. Important parameters, their

symbols and units are reproduced in Table 2.

2.3. Ferroelectricity

We have already discussed some of the general features of

ferroelectricity in order to grasp an understanding of its

differences with ferromagnetism. A ferroelectric material

is deﬁned as a class of material in which the spontaneous

polarization exists even when no electric ﬁeld is applied to

it. It is capable of existing in two equivalent states that are

totally reversible, making ferroelectrics suited for many

applications.

There is another class of materials known as electrets,

which are often confused with ferroelectricity. These are

also dielectric materials in which quasipermanent real

charges can reside on the surface. They can also be found

in the bulk of the material, or as frozen-in aligned dipoles

in the bulk. Electrets behave in the same way as a battery

or an electrical counterpart of a permanent magnet. How-

ever, they are not ferroelectrics. Ferroelectric materials

are distinctly different from electrets in two respects:

(1) its polarization is spontaneous, which is retained

even at zero electric ﬁeld; and (2) this polarization is con-

trolled by the crystal’s symmetry.

From Fig. 3 we ﬁnd that the ferroelectric effect can be

present in the 10 noncentrosymmetric polar groups in

which the spontaneous polarization is reversible. Absence

of the center of symmetry is the essential condition for the

existence of not only ferroelectricity but also of piezoelec-

tricity and pyroelectricity. As we will see later, a piezo-

electric material assumes its polarization when subjected

to a mechanical stress. Here the polarization is not spon-

taneous. It disappears when the mechanical force is re-

moved. However, pyroelectrics are also spontaneously

polarized in the same way as ferroelectrics but are not

switchable. This is an important distinction between these

two closely related phenomena. Ferroelectrics are also dis-

tinguished from pyroelectrics in one additional important

way—only in ferroelectrics does the spontaneous polariza-

tion disappear at a well-deﬁned temperature, called the

Curie point. There is no concept of the Curie point in ei-

ther piezoelectric materials, pyroelectric materials, or

electrets. This characteristic temperature enables ferro-

electrics to exist in two distinct phases: the polar (i.e., fer-

roelectric) phase and the nonpolar (the paraelectric)

phase. Furthermore, ferroelectrics are well known to be

materials showing very high dielectric constant, some-

times in excess of 50,000. The uniqueness of ferroelectric

materials reﬂects itself in many ways, which make them

(a) (b)

Force

+ +

+ +

_

_

__

+

+

+

+

+

_

_

_

_

_

+

Figure 4. Schematic representation of a unit cell with center of

symmetry (a) before and (b) after application of a mechanical force

[9].

(a) (b)

Force

+

+

+ +

+

−

−

−

−

+

+

+ +

+

− −

−

−

Figure 5. Schematic representation of a unit cell with no center

of symmetry (a) before and (b) after application of a mechanical

force [9].

Table 2. Physical Properties and Their Symbols and Units

Terms Symbol

Units

(SI Units)

Curie constant C K (Kelvin)

Capacitance C

x

,C

p

,C

i

F (Farad)

Elastic stiffness constant c

ijkl

,c

pq

N/m

2

(newtons/meter

2

)

Electric displacement

(vector)

D

i

C/m

2

(coulombs/meter

2

)

Piezoelectric charge

(or strain) coefﬁcient

d

ijk

,d

ij

C/N (or m/V)

Electric ﬁeld (vector) E

i

V/m (volts/meter)

Coercive ﬁeld (or coercivity) E

c

V/m

Piezoelectric stress

coefﬁcient

e

ijk

,e

ij

C/m

2

Pyroelectric current i

p

A (ampere)

Dielectric polarization

(vector)

P

i

C/m

2

Remanent polarization P

r

C/m

2

Spontaneous polarization P

s

C/m

2

Maximum polarization P

max

C/m

2

Pyroelectric coefﬁcient p

i

C/m

2

Á K

Strain (second-rank tensor) S

ij

Dimensionless

Elastic compliance constant s

ijkl

,s

pq

Dimensionless

Curie point T

c

K or 1C

Stress (second-rank tensor) T

ij

N/m

2

Permittivity of free space e

0

F/m

Permittivity (second-rank

tensor)

e

ij

F/m

Relative dielectric constant K

ij

Dimensionless

Source: Ref. [8].

1508 FERROELECTRIC MATERIALS

extremely attractive for diverse applications. We will dis-

cuss some of these later in this article. To sum up, the

characteristic features of a ferroelectric material are (1)

switchable spontaneous polarization, (2) high dielectric

constant, (3) the Curie point that clearly deﬁnes the tran-

sition between the polar and nonpolar states, (4) hyster-

esis loop between polarization and electric ﬁeld, and (5)

crystal structures that lack center of symmetry.

The relationship between barium titanate (BaTiO

3

)

and ferroelectricity is similar to that between silicon and

a semiconductor. It is the most prominent member of the

family of ferroelectricity and well established in technol-

ogy. It is isostructural with the mineral calcium titanate

(CaTiO

3

) and synthesizes in perovskite structure, com-

monly represented by the formula ABO

3

. The typical

structure of BaTiO

3

in its ferroelectric phase (below the

Curie point of 1201C) is shown in Fig. 6.

Here the Ba

2þ

ions occupy the eight corners of the unit

cell, which is based on close-packed face-centered cubic

crystal, the Ti

4 þ

ions are located in the body-centered po-

sition, and the O

2À

ions are at the face-centered positions.

The barium ions are coordinated with 12 oxygen ions and

the Ti ions in the octahedral interstices. At and above the

Curie point, the unit cell of BaTiO

3

undergoes a phase

transition from nonpolar to polar state. That is, it is no

more ferroelectric above the transition point. The pres-

ence of the Curie point is an important characteristic of all

ferroelectrics. Obviously, this is a material constant and

can vary for different materials.

The majority of the well-known ferroelectric materials

synthesize in perovskite structure. Some examples of tech-

nologically important ferroelectric materials with this

structure are K niobate, K tantalate niobate (KTN), Pb

titanate, and Pb zirconate-titanate (PZT). It is interesting

to note that besides ferroelectrics, many other electronic

materials of great scientific and technological importance

can also crystallize in this structure. This was realized in

the late 1980s, when high-temperature superconductivity

was discovered. Leading examples were prominent mem-

bers of the high-temperature superconductor family,

namely, 123 YBCO (YBaCu oxide) and the colossal mag-

netoresistive materials of the type LaCaCu oxide and

LaSrCu oxide. These discoveries have made the perovs-

kite group of materials a subject of intensive research in

attempts to discover some novel phenomenon.

Another prominent ferroelectric group is found in the

tungsten bronze structure shown in Fig. 7. They are rep-

resented by the generic formula of AB

2

O

6

. Leading mem-

bers of the family are Pb (meta)niobate (PbNb

2

O

6

), Pb

(meta)tantalate (PbTa

2

O

6

), PbK niobate (PKN) having the

formula (Pb

2

KNb

5

O

15

), and BaSr niobate (SBN) with the

formula of Ba

2

Sr

3

Nb

10

O

30

[4]. PKN has been identiﬁed to

have the largest piezoelectric coupling coefﬁcient and was

researched heavily in the mid-1980s. However, it was al-

most impossible to grow good crystals without producing

multiple cracks. With the advancement of ﬁlm technology

and integration with silicon, PKN may once again receive

renewed attention. Among all the electrooptic materials,

SBN crystals show the most interesting properties and

was the choice material for the fabrication of delay lines.

Ferroelectric crystals, like their magnetic counterparts,

consist of a large number of domains in which the polar-

ization is oriented in one unique direction. The neighbor-

ing domains are separated from each other by domain

walls. All the polarization vectors point in one single

direction and are parallel to each other, resulting in the

maximum value of the spontaneous polarization for the

bulk of the material. This picture is attainable under two

conditions: (1) close to the absolute zero temperature and

(2) when subjected to a strong external electric

ﬁeld. Between absolute zero and the Curie point the do-

main structure goes from fully ordered state (maximum

polarization) to fully disordered state (zero polarization).

Figure 8 shows schematically the parallel and antiparallel

conﬁgurations of ferroelectric domains. Even at room

a

A1 site B1 site B2 site C site A2 site

b

Figure 7. The framework of the tungsten bronze structure look-

ing down the tetragonal c axis. The interstitial sites labeled A1,

A2, and C can accommodate A-type cations. The B-type cations

occupy the octahedron centers labeled B1 and B2 [10].

Ba

Ti O

Figure 6. Perovskite structure of BaTiO

3

below T

c

.

FERROELECTRIC MATERIALS 1509

temperature the energy associated with lattice vibration

is sufﬁcient to destroy the ordered structure and cause the

domains to orient randomly, resulting in zero polarization

in the absence of an external ﬁeld.

The hysteresis loop of ferroelectrics is obtained by using

the simple circuit originally given by Sawyer and Tower

[11] in 1930 and later modiﬁed by Sinha [12]. The switch-

ing time between the two states of remanent polarization

is determined by the method proposed in 1966 by Fatuzo

and Fatuzo [13]. A typical hysteresis loop of a ferroelectric

material is shown in Fig. 9.

The material at room temperature has randomly ori-

ented domains, as discussed earlier, and therefore zero

value of the polarization. Initially when the ﬁeld is applied

and its magnitude is small, the P-versus-E curve is linear

because the ﬁeld induces the polarization here. This cor-

responds to the linear portion of the curve OA in Fig. 9

when the applied ﬁeld is very small. Once its magnitude

increases, an increasing number of domains orient in its

direction. Eventually the polarization enters the nonlin-

ear region and continues to increase with the ﬁeld until it

reaches its maximum value þP

m

in the ﬁrst quadrant

labeled I. This path is followed as shown by the dashed

curve OA and called the ‘‘virgin curve.’’ After this the effect

of increasing ﬁeld is negligible. At point þP

m

all the do-

mains are fully oriented in one unique direction as shown

by the upward-pointing arrows. The interpolation of the

uppermost curve in quadrant I cuts the polarization axis

at zero ﬁeld at point P

s

; P

s

is termed the spontaneous po-

larization. Strictly speaking, this definition is not exactly

correct because theoretically the value of the spontaneous

polarization is deﬁned as the polarization at absolute zero.

However, the value derived from the hysteresis curve is

the value of the spontaneous polarization for all practical

purposes. In quadrant I, when the ﬁeld is reduced from its

maximum value at P

m

, it does not retrace its original path.

Instead, it shows hysteric effect and meets the polariza-

tion axis at þP

r

. This is the value of the polarization re-

maining from its original value of P

m

at zero ﬁeld; it is

called the remenant polarization. Usually the ratio of P

r

to

P

m

is less than 1. Ferroelectric materials with this ratio

close to 1 are of great importance to memory applications.

On further reduction of the ﬁeld, in quadrant II, we see

that the polarization disappears at point ÀE

c

; E

c

is called

the coercivity or coercive ﬁeld. In the second quadrant this

is the ﬁeld that is needed to bring the remenant polariza-

tion to zero. Here the hysteresis curve has completed its

half-cycle. Further reduction of the ﬁeld, in the third

quadrant (III) brings us to ÀP

m

. Thus, here the sponta-

neous polarization has switched by 1801 as indicated by

the downward arrows representing the orientation of the

domains at this point. Once this point is reached, there is

no sense in increasing the ﬁeld in the negative direction

any further. The ﬁeld direction now is reversed and the

P-versus-E curve cuts the polarization axis at ÀP

r

. From

the symmetry of the curve we observe that once again it is

the remanent polarization.

(a) (b)

Figure 8. Schematic of domain conﬁgurations of a ferroelectric

crystal: (a) parallel orientation (P

s

¼maximum) and (b) antipar-

allel (P

s

¼zero) orientaiton.

−Pm

E (V/m)

Polarization

Electric field

−Ec +Ec

III

II

I

IV

0

A

−Pr

+Pr

Ps

+Pm

P(C/m

2

)

Figure 9. Polarization (P) versus electric ﬁeld (E) hysteresis loop of a ferroelectric material.

1510 FERROELECTRIC MATERIALS

The presence of two equivalent states of P

r

lends fer-

roelectrics bistable state similar to that found in ferro-

magnetism. This particular property is of great technical

significance and is the basis of nonvolatile ferroelectric

memory. This property is also exploited for many other

applications where memory effects are important. In the

fourth quadrant (IV) the increasing ﬁeld brings us back to

the coercive ﬁeld, þE

c

. Further increase of the electric

ﬁeld allows the polarization to traverse the ﬁrst quadrant

nonlinearly. It eventually reaches the þP

m

point. This

completes the full cycle of the loop.

No matter how many times the loops are generated,

they retrace their original paths. This reproducibility is

needed for designing devices based on the nonlinear prop-

erty of ferroelectrics. The shape of the loop is dependent on

the frequency of the AC electric ﬁeld applied. It is also

strongly dependent on temperature. At and very close to

the Curie temperature of the ferroelectric material, the

nonlinearity ceases to exist because of the disappearance

of the spontaneous polarization. For all practical purposes

it reduces to a straight line. The temperature at which the

hysteresis loop collapses is also a measure of the Curie

point. However, it gives only the approximate value. The

exact value is to be determined by careful measurement of

the spontaneous polarization as a function of temperature.

The temperature dependence of the spontaneous polariza-

tion is shown in Figs. 10 and 11 [8].

From Figs. 10 and 11 it becomes clear that at the Curie

point the material goes through a phase transition from a

polar to a nonpolar state. Phase transition can be of two

kinds: ﬁrst-order, in which the change is discontinuous;

and the second-order, in which the change is continuous.

For many ferroelectrics the ﬁrst-order transition occurs

when it goes through a change in crystal structure such as

from tetragonal to cubic. Such is the case for BaTiO

3

, PZT,

and KTN. Also, we observe that the Curie point is the di-

viding line between the polar and nonpolar states. Below

this temperature ferroelectricity and therefore the non-

linear behavior dominates whereas above it the material

is linear, as is any other dielectric. The polar and nonpolar

phases in a ferroelectric are totally reversible, and this can

be explained on the basis of domain theory; specifically,

above the Curie point the domain orientations are ran-

dom, and as the temperature is lowered below the Curie

point, the spontaneous polarization in these domains be-

gins to renucleate and the number of these domains con-

tinues to increase as the temperature is lowered. At

absolute zero they attain the highest order, allowing the

spontaneous polarization to reach its maximum possible

value.

The nature of the phase transition is also reﬂected in

the temperature dependence of the relative dielectric con-

stant (K) as shown in Fig. 12. In each case, the value of K

goes to inﬁnity at the Curie point. Ideally above the Curie

point K

À1

increases linearly with increase in tempera-

ture. This is predicted by the Curie–Weiss law

K ¼

C

T ÀT

c

ð4Þ

In Fig. 12(a), y is the asymptotic Curie point at which K

reaches its maximum value and in almost all cases it is

close to the value of the Curie point determined by other

P

s

T

c

T

Cooling

(Ferro)

(Ferro)

(Para)

(Para)

Heating

Figure 10. Spontaneous polarization versus temperature for

ﬁrst-order phase transition [8].

(Ferro)

P

s

T

c

T

(Para)

Figure 11. Spontaneous polarization versus temperature for

second-order phase transition [8].

T

c

T

c

1 1

0

(a) (b)

T T

0

« «

Figure 12. Temperature dependence of inverse of relative dielec-

tric constant of a ferroelectric material undergoing phase trans-

formations at the Curie point of the (a) ﬁrst order and (b) second

order [8].

FERROELECTRIC MATERIALS 1511

experiments. It should also be emphasized that not all

ferroelectrics follow the Curie–Weiss law strictly.

The capacitance–voltage plot, shown in Fig. 13, is also a

good indication of the materials quality of a ferroelectric.

Here too we observe that the nature of the curve is hys-

teric with respect to the decreasing and increasing bias

voltage. The width of the peak of the curves, as shown be

dashed lines, is a measure of the coercive force. Selected

examples of ferroelectric materials and their properties

are presented in Table 3.

2.4. Piezoelectricity

Like many other terms of science, this, too, is derived from

a Greek word meaning ‘‘to press.’’ As we have seen in Fig.

1, the relationship between the mechanical stress (T

ij

) and

the electric ﬁeld (E) gives rise to piezoelectricity. Also, we

ﬁnd from this ﬁgure that there are two types of piezoelec-

tric effects: direct and converse. Direct piezoelectric effect

occurs because of the interaction between the mechanical

stress (T

ij

) and the displacement (D). Similarly the inter-

action between the electric ﬁeld (E) and the strain (S

ij

)

gives rise to the converse effect. Both these piezoelectric

effects have significant importance in technology.

If a stress is applied to a piezoelectric crystal, it devel-

ops an electric moment per unit volume (or charge per unit

area). The magnitude of polarization is proportional to the

stress applied. This is called direct piezoelectric effect.

Mathematically this is represented by the following

equation

P¼dT ð5Þ

where d is the piezoelectric coefﬁcient, P the polarization,

and T the stress; or, more precisely as

DP

i

¼d

ijk

DT

jk

ð6Þ

800

750

700

650

600

−20 −15 −10 −5 0 5 10 15 20

C

a

p

a

c

i

t

a

n

c

e

(

P

F

)

Voltage (V)

E

c

Figure 13. Capacitance versus bias voltage plot of PNZT solgel

ﬁlm [14].

Table 3. Selected Ferroelectric Materials and Their Properties

Name (Abbreviation) Chemical Formula

Curie Temperature

(1C)

Spontaneous

Polarization P

s

(mC/m

À2

) at (1C)

Crystal Structure

4T

C

oT

C

Barium titanate BaTiO

3

120 26.0 (23) Cubic Tetragonal

Lead titanate PbTiO

3

490 50.0 (23) Cubic Tetragonal

Potassium niobate KNbO

3

435 30.0 (250) Cubic Tetragonal

Potassium dihydrogen

phosphate (KDP)

KH

2

PO

4

À150 4.8 ( À177) Tetragonal Orthorhombic

Triglycine sulfate

(TGS)

(NH

2

CH

2

COOH)

3

H

2

SO

4

49 2.8 (20) Monoclinic

(centrosymmetric)

Monoclinic

(noncentrosymmetric)

Potassium sodium

tartrate tetrahy-

drate (Rochelle salt)

KNaC

4

H

4

O

6

. 4H

2

O 24 0.25 (5) Orthorhombic

(centrosymmetric)

Monoclinic

(noncentrosymmetric)

Lead zirconium

titanate (PZT) [21]

Pb(Zr,Ti)O

3

200–480 Composition-depen-

dent

Cubic Rhombohedral or

Tetragonal (depends

on composition)

Lead niobium

zirconium titanate

(ﬁlm), PNZT

a

See below 400 58 (20) Cubic Tetragonal

Antimony sulfoiodide

(crystal)

SbSI 22 25.0 (5) Orthorhombic

(centrosymmetric)

Orthorhombic

(noncentrosymmetric)

Antimony sulfoiodide

b

SbSI 19 0.03 (19) Orthorhombic

(centrosymmetric)

Orthorhombic

(noncentrosymmetric)

Potassium tantalate

niobate

c

(KTN)

See below À108 to þ 19 Composition-depen-

dent

Cubic

(centrosymmetric)

Tetragonal

(noncentrosymmetric)

a

Pb

1.1

Nb

0.04

Zr

02

Ti

0.8

O

3

[17,18].

b

PLD-grown ﬁlm [19].

c

KTN of vialbe compostions,KTa

(1. x)

Nb

x

O

3

, [20].

Source: Ref. 15.

1512 FERROELECTRIC MATERIALS

The converse piezoelectric effect takes place on the appli-

cation of an electric ﬁeld to a piezoelectric material that

induces the shape to deform (or, change) slightly. This is

also a linear effect and can be represented by the following

simple relationship

DS

jk

¼d

ijk

DE

i

ð7Þ

where S is the strain and E the electric ﬁeld.

We have seen earlier that the elastic coefﬁcient, the pi-

ezoelectric coefﬁcient, and the dielectric constant are ten-

sors and there can be as many as 45 independent

coefﬁcients. For example, the elastic constant can have

21 values; the dielectric constant, 6; and the piezoelectric

coefﬁcient, 18. But in practice one need not worry about all

these different coefﬁcients. One would usually apply the

electric ﬁeld, for example, in only one direction and mea-

sure the mechanical response in some other direction. For

all practical purposes, the following two simple equations

will sufﬁce to describe piezoelectricity [9]

T¼cS ÀdE ð8Þ

D¼eEþdS ð9Þ

where e is the dielectric constant. The validity of these

equations is given by the following arguments.

If d¼0, that is there is no piezoelectric effects present

in the material, then we have T¼cS, which is simply the

famous Hooke’s law; and D¼eE, which is the most famil-

iar equation of electromagnetism. Alternatively, by setting

E¼0 in Eqs. (8) and (9) T¼cS, we once again get the fa-

mous Hooke’s law and D¼dS. The latter relation indi-

cates that even in the absence of an electric ﬁeld in a

piezoelectric crystal a ﬁnite amount of polarization can

develop on the application of strain. Similarly, an electric

ﬁeld can induce strain in a piezoelectric crystal even when

there is no mechanical stress applied.

In short, because of the piezoelectric properties, a

crystal develops strain when subjected to an electric

ﬁeld. Alterenatively, polarization develops under mechan-

ical stress. What follows from these arguments is that

piezoelectric materials are ideally suited for applications

related to electromechanical transducers. They are

the materials of choice for many MEMS devices. Some

examples of leading piezoelectric materials are shown in

Table 4.

2.5. Pyroelectricity Effect

We have already encountered the term pyroelectricity in

Figs. 1 and 3. The origin of this effect lies in the following

two facts: (1) interaction between the displacement and

temperature and (2) noncentrosymmetry of the unit cell.

Thus, pyroelectricity is caused when a crystal having a

noncentrosymmetric unit cell and spontaneous polariza-

tion undergoes a temperature change. The change in tem-

perature can induce a change in surface charge, which in

turn can cause a change in electrical polarization of the

material. The end result is the emergence of a thermal

current, which can be detected, in an external circuit.

From electromagnetic theory we know that when an

electric ﬁeld is applied to a polar material, the resultant

displacement is given by the following simple equation

D¼e

0

EþP

net

¼e

0

EþðP

s

þP

ind

Þ

ð10Þ

where D is the displacement, E the electric ﬁeld, e

0

the

permittivity of vacuum, and P

net

the net polarization.

Since the total polarization consists of both spontane-

ous component (P

s

) and induced part (P

ind

), we rewrite Eq.

(10) considering that P

s

cP

ind

as follows

D % eEþP

s

ð11Þ

where e is the dielectric constant of the material. Differ-

entiating this equation with respect to dT, we get

dD

dT

%

dP

s

dT

þE

de

dT

ð12Þ

assuming that the E remains constant. We obtain

p

eqv

% p

i

þE

de

dT

ð13Þ

where p

eqv

represents the equivalent pyroelectric coefﬁ-

cient and p

i

, the true pyroelectric coefﬁcient.

It is obvious from Eq. (13) that the true pyroelectric

coefﬁcient p

i

can be evaluated by differentiating the

P

s

–temperature curves as shown in Figs. 10 and 11. It is

also obvious from Eq. (12) that the change in temperature

will induce change in the polarization vector. Therefore,

Table 4. Representative Piezoelectric Materials

Material Type Piezoelectric Constant C/NÂ10

À9

Relative Permittivity

Quartz,SiO

2

Crystal d

33

¼2.33 4.0–4.5

Polyvinylidene ﬂuoride (PVDF) Polymer d

31

¼23, d

33

¼1.59 12

Barium titanate (BaTiO

3

) Ceramic d

31

¼78 1700

crystal d

33

¼190 4100

Lead zirconate (PZ) Ceramic d

31

¼110, d

33

¼370 1200–3000

Zinc oxide (ZnO) Ceramic d

33

¼246 1400

Nb-doped PZT

a

(PNZT) Textured ﬁlm d

31

¼54 2200

a

For further details, see Refs. 16 and 18.

Source: Ref. 15.

FERROELECTRIC MATERIALS 1513

the pyroelectric coefﬁcient can now be deﬁned as

DP

i

¼p

i

DT ð14Þ

where i ¼1,2,3,y.

The basic definition of the true pyroelectric coefﬁcient

is given by Eq. (14), whereas Eq. (13) gives the actual

pyroelectric coefﬁcient measured. The contribution from

the second term representing the temperature coefﬁcient

of the dielectric constant (de/dT) cannot be neglected if

the pyroelectric measurements are done on a ferroelectric

material for which, as we know, the temperature coefﬁ-

cient of the dielectric constant can assume large values.

We have already seen that the large values of the di-

electric constant are also one of the most important fea-

tures of a ferroelectric material and reaches its maximum

value at the Curie point. This would mean that the equiv-

alent pyroelectric coefﬁcient (p

eqv

) would be large for a

ferroelectric with the Curie point near room temperature.

This is an important consideration while designing a pyro-

electric detector. Another important consideration in the

device design is the contribution made by the piezoelectric

coupling on the performance of the detector. Most of the

practical pyroelectrics are also piezoelectrics. Therefore

they will experience strain because of the thermal expan-

sion leading to the development of surface charges.

The thermal current (I

p

) that can be generated by heat-

ing uniformly a pyroelectric material is given by

i

p

¼

dQ

dt

¼A

dP

s

dT

.

dT

dt

ð15Þ

or

i

p

¼Ap

i

dT

dt

ð16Þ

where A is the area of the electrode and p

i

the pyroelectric

coefﬁcient. Here it is important to note that the heating of

the sample must take place at a uniform rate. The current

is generally determined when the experiment is conducted

in a dynamic mode. Alternatively, the pyroelectric coefﬁ-

cient can be evaluated directly by measuring the charge

(using an electrometer) that is generated at different tem-

peratures. The following equation can be used for this

purpose:

p

i

¼

Q

2

ÀQ

1

AðT

2

ÀT

1

Þ

ð17Þ

Some examples of technologically important pyroelectric

materials are given in Table 5. These materials are used

mostly for infrared imaging.

2.6. Pyrooptic Effect

A lesser known property called the pyrooptic effect of di-

electric materials can also be potentially exploited for de-

tection of infrared. The temperature dependence of the

refractive index gives rise to this parameter. It is deﬁned as

y

p

¼

dZ

dT

_ _

ð18Þ

where y

p

is the pyrooptic coefﬁcient and Z the refractive

index.

Performance of a pyrooptic detector will be significantly

superior to pyroelectric or photon detector because no me-

tallic contacts to pixel elements are needed to operate this

device. Because it is an optical system, it allows for non-

contact readout. This leads to an ideal thermal detecting

structure as it eliminates a major source of signal-to-noise

ratio in the system. In addition, for a pyrooptic detector,

the sample thickness need not be greater than the opti-

mum thickness required for supporting the optical waves

on reﬂection. Thus, the pixel volume (or, mass) can be very

small.

The concept of a pyrooptic detector was proposed in the

early 1990s [24,25]. The device can be built on a single-

crystal base or on ﬁlms of a pyrooptic material. The ﬁlm

can be freestanding or supported on a transparent sub-

strate having poor thermal conductivity.

Leading pyrooptic materials with their pyrooptic coef-

ﬁcients are presented in Table 6. As we can see from this

table, once again ferroelectrics appear to be the material

for the pyrooptic technology.

It is to be noted that in spite of many attractive features

and simplicity, no practical device has become commer-

cially available that is based on this effect. However, with

the phenomenal progress made since the mid-1990s in

processing of materials, especially ﬁlms, and in producing

Table 5. Representative Pyroelectric Materials

Materials Type Pyroelectric Coefﬁcient/p

i

(mCÁ m

À2

K

À1

) at 1C

Triglycine sulfate (TGS) Single crystal 280 (35)

Deuterated TGS Single crystal 550 (40)

Lithium tantalite (LiTaO

3

) Single crystal 230 (25)

SBT, (SrBa)Nb

2

O

6

Single crystal 550 (23)

Modiﬁed lead zirconate (PZ) Ceramic 400 (23)

PVDF Polymer ﬁlm 27 (25)

BST (Ba

0.65

Sr

0.35

)TiO

3

(bias ﬁeld¼0.6 V/mm) Ceramic 7000 (20)

PST,Pb(Sc

0.5

Ta

0.5

)O

3

(bias ﬁeld¼10V/mm) Sputtered ﬁlm 850 (20)

Antimony sulfoiodide, SbSI

a

Film, laser ablated on Pt/Si 12.4 (19.2)

PNZT, Nb-doped PZT

b

Film, solgel grown on Pt/Si 1080 (23)

a

Thick ﬁlm grown on Pt/Si substrate by PLD [22].

b

Solgel ﬁlm on Pt/Si ofPb(Nb

0.02

Zr

0.2

Ti

0.8

)

3

[14].

Source: Ref. 23.

1514 FERROELECTRIC MATERIALS

integrated structures with silicon [26], it is reasonable to

assume that the pyrooptic effect might attain its rightful

importance in the infra-red technology.

2.7. Antiferroelectricity

Once again we have copied this term from the vocabulary

of magnetism. In antiferromagnets electronic spins are in

antiparallel conﬁguration. Similarly, the dipoles are anti-

parallel to each other in an antiferroelectric material. In

these crystals the polarization is distributed throughout

in the bulk of the material in an antiparallel arrangement

such that the net polarization is zero. Figure 8b may be

considered to schematically represent such a system. Note

that this is a highly ordered conﬁguration and must not be

confused with the randomness of the dipoles caused by

lattice vibrations. According to the classic work by Jona

and Shirane [21], an antiferroelectric material is to be de-

ﬁned as an antipolar crystal whose free energy is compa-

rable to that of a polar crystal. In an antipolar crystal the

dipole interactions are such that they cause the antipar-

allel domains to dominate. Obviously these materials do

not exhibit hysteresis loops between the polarization and

the electric ﬁeld. But a large anomaly is experimentally

detectable when the structure changes from a completely

unpolarized state to the antiferroelectric state at the tran-

sition point. Antiferroelectricity is a fundamental part of

ferroelectricity and plays an important role in under-

standing the physics behind dielectric materials. Lead zir-

conate (PbZrO

3

) is one of the most famous examples of

antiferroelectricity. It shows a large anomaly in the tem-

perature dependence of the dielectric constant at about

2501C and no dielectric loop at all [21]. This is a very im-

portant constituent of PLZT, PNZT, PZT, and other com-

pounds that have enormous technical importance.

2.8. Multiferroic Magnetoelectrics

No discussion of ferroelectricity can be complete without

considering multiferroic materials. These are the materi-

als in which ferroelectricity and ferromagnetism can co-

exist in the same phase. They are also known by different

terms, such as magnetoelectrics and ferromagnetoelectrics.

Ferromagnetism and ferroelectricity have been exten-

sively researched and used in developing many applica-

tions and technologies. They both remain to a great extent

independent ﬁelds of science with little or no overlap.

However, the scientific and technological importance has

long been realized for materials showing both ferromag-

netism and ferroelectricity in the same phase and prefer-

ably above room temperature. Unfortunately such

materials are not found in nature and have until relative-

ly recently frustrated the efforts to produce them with a

high degree of reproducibility in laboratories. This scarci-

ty might be anchored in the fact that the transition metal

d electrons, which are essential for the origin of ferromag-

netism, tend to reduce the lattice distortion that causes

ferroelectricity [27]. This results in a weak coupling be-

tween the spontaneous magnetization and spontaneous

polarization. Because of the advancement in ﬁlm technol-

ogy and successful fabrication of integrated structures and

superlattices, the search for new multiferroic materials

has become very active. This covers a broad spectrum of

materials ranging from composites to epitaxial ﬁlms. It

has been reported that magnetoelectric effects can be in-

troduced in the thin ﬁlm consisting of nanometric level of

CoFe

2

O

4

[cobalt ferrite (CFO)], which is a ferromagnetic

material, and ferroelectric lead titanate (PbTiO

3

) [28].

Bismuth manganate (BiMnO

3

) is another material in

which magnetoelectricity has been predicted [29]. The ex-

perimental search for this effect in BiMnO

3

was presented

at a workshop conducted under the sponsorship of the US

Ofﬁce of Naval Research [30].

Of special importance are the two new discoveries. The

presence of ferroelectricity in magnetic bismuth ferrite

(BiFeO

3

) has been conclusively shown by Palkar et al. [31].

They grew pure phase of bismuth ferrite on platinized sil-

icon substrates by the pulsed-laser ablation method (PLD)

under multiple partial pressures of oxygen. They report

the existence of saturated ferroelectric loop for their sam-

ples, and the typical anomalous behavior of the tempera-

ture dependence of dielectric constant, which is the

signature of a ferroelectric material. This anomaly occurs

at the antiferromagnetic transition temperature (T

N

) of

B3801C. The ferroelectric transition occurs at B8101C.

This is a remarkable result and is certain to contribute to

the ﬁeld of multiferroic materials and their applications.

Another equally important discovery has been reported

by Hur et al. [32]. Electric polarization reversal and mem-

ory effects were induced by external magnetic ﬁeld rang-

ing from 0 to 2 T (tesla) in terbium manganate (TbMn

2

O

3

)

multiferroic material. This is the ﬁrst time anyone has

been able to demonstrate strong coupling between mag-

netic and ferroelectric states. Besides polarization rever-

sal induced by a magnetic ﬁeld, the investigators were also

successful in attaining memory effects under the combined

inﬂuence of magnetic and electric ﬁelds. Like the previous

work, this outstanding discovery is certain to impact the

science and information technology.

Table 6. Examples of Some Pyrooptic Materials

Materials Formula Temperature Range (1C) Pyrooptic Coefﬁcient y

p

( Â10

À4

K

À1

)

Antimony sulfoiodide SbSI 0–15 75

Bismuth vanadate BiVO

4

20–100 2.8

Molybdenum disulﬁde MoS

2

À100 to þ18 1.63

Lead titanate PbTiO

3

À60 to þ40 1.5

Barium titanate BaTiO

3

29–120 3.1

Triglycine sulfate TGS 40–300 5.0

Source: Ref. 24.

FERROELECTRIC MATERIALS 1515

3. MATERIALS PROCESSING

The ferroelectric materials are processed in three princi-

pal ways: ceramic processing, ﬁlm deposition, and single-

crystal growth. Each of these methods has its merits and

demerits. Their selection depends primarily on the factors

such as cost, volume of materials needed, and intended

use. In the next few paragraphs we will briefly survey the

three processing techniques applicable to ferroelectric ma-

terials.

3.1. Ceramic Processing

For large-scale production and applications this is the

most widely preferred processing technique applied to

produce dielectric materials including ferroelectrics. It is

a relatively simple technique, is moderately expensive,

and gives high returns on investment. Additionally, it

lends itself easily to implementation of modiﬁcations and

parameter adjustments for producing materials with pre-

dictable properties in large volumes. On a smaller scale, it

provides an excellent research tool for designing and dis-

covering new dielectric materials.

This consists of seven major steps as shown in Fig. 14.

The ﬁrst and foremost step is to begin with highest possi-

ble purity grades of rawmaterials in proper weight or mole

ratio. Then they should be mixed thoroughly such as by

ballmilling to break down the particle size and obtain a

homogeneous mixture. The subsequent steps of heat treat-

ment and forming desired shapes and sizes followthis step.

Then the most critical step is undertaken. The compaction

takes place by applying uniformly high pressures to the

dies containing the desired shapes and forms. Hydrostatic

pressing at elevated temperatures is the most desirable

approach to obtain a high-density and high-quality mate-

rial. However, if such a system is not available, cold hy-

drostatic pressing, or simply cold or hot isostatic pressing

are available alternatives. Once the pressing is done, the

green ceramic needs to be sintered at high temperatures,

which are mostly 90% of the melting temperature of the

materials, for hours in a specialized atmosphere. Air an-

nealing is usually sufﬁcient. However, depending on the

chemistry of the material, it is necessary to do annealing in

reducing, oxidizing, or neutral atmospheres. The logic be-

hind sintering at high temperatures for extended time pe-

riods is to allow the diffusion process to produce single-

phase, homogenous materials with large grains (crystal-

lites) and with practically no voids. Each heat treatment

aids in attaining this goal. It is important that the steps

shown in boxes (second, third, and fourth seen from the

top) in Fig. 14 should be repeated at least 3 times before

high-pressure operation takes place. This laborious and

time-consuming processing method ensures the quality of

the material to be produced. Once the ceramic samples be-

come available, they are ready for use either for scientific

experiments or for product development.

3.2. Film Deposition

Because of their multifunctional nature, ferroelectrics

lend themselves to a large number of applications and de-

velopment of novel devices for which high-quality epitax-

ial or textured ﬁlms are required. They are grown by a

variety of techniques; the most common ones are sputter-

ing, electron-beam evaporation, solgel, metallorganic de-

position (MOD), physical vapor transport (PVT), and

pulsed-laser deposition (PLD). As in the case of ceramic

processing, the choice of the method for ﬁlm growth de-

pends on many factors; again, the foremost are the cost

and quality of ﬁlms needed. As can be expected, each of

these methods has its merits and limitations. The litera-

ture is full of excellent books and publications dealing

with each of these techniques. Unfortunately, we are not

in a position to cover any of these methods in depth in this

article. However, we are giving here some basic informa-

tion related to the methods mostly used by the ferroelec-

tric community for the beneﬁt of the reader.

For large-scale production, sputtering and solgel are

the leading methods used on industrial scale. Having sim-

ilarity with solgel MOD is also widely used but it is not as

effective a method as solgel. The PVT method is used only

when other methods are not applicable such as if the ma-

terial has high vapor pressure. These are mostly iodides,

ﬂuorides, sulﬁdes, and similar compounds. The PVT meth-

od is capable of producing high-quality textured or even

single crystalline ﬁlms on a variety of substrates. Howev-

er, it has its own limitations and is not easily modiﬁable

High - purity - grade raw materials mixed in desired

proportion by weight or mole percent

Ballmilled to achieve thorough mixing

Sintered at high temperatures in appropriate

atmospheres to allow diffusion process to produce

homogenous mixture

Fine - ground powder mixed with organic binders are

packed tightly in stainless - steel dies of appropriate

geometries .

Well - formed green ceramics are released from dies

and then sintered at high temperatures in an

appropriate atmosphere for several hours to obtain

dense and single - phase polycrystalline samples

The sintered ceramic samples can be used as target for

laser ablation or for fundamental studies or device

fabrication

Pressure is applied uniaxially or isostatically and at

room temperature or at higher temperatures depending

on facilities available

Figure 14. Flow diagram for ceramic pressing.

1516 FERROELECTRIC MATERIALS

for large-scale applications. Figure 15 shows a simple ex-

perimental arrangement developed by us [22] for the

growth of antimony sulphoiodide (SbSI) ﬁlms for pyroelec-

tric and pyrooptic research [26]. High-quality textured or

even single-crystal ﬁlms could be grown of this high vapor

pressure material by the PVT method.

The PLD method is versatile and has been used for the

growth of a large number of oxides including ferroelectrics,

high-temperature superconductors, and colossal magneto-

resistive (CMR) materials. Since its discovery in late 1980s

when it was ﬁrst introduced very successfully for

the growth of high-temperature superconductor, especial-

ly 123 YBCO, PLD has become the choice method for re-

search on oxide growth. It is a versatile method and can

be easily adopted to implement necessary changes in

growth parameters. Its greatest strength lies in the fact

that it retains the chemical homogeneity of the ﬁlm with

respect to its source (called ‘‘targets’’ in the language of

PLD) and can produce polycrystalline, textured, or single-

crystalline ﬁlms; integrated structures; and superlattices.

It is also used for the growth of complex device conﬁgura-

tions. An excellent treatment is given of PLD technology in

Ref. 33.

3.3. Single-Crystal Growth

Single-crystal growth has been the most fascinating and

challenging area of materials processing. Ceramics, ﬁlms,

integrated structures, and superlattices can meet many

scientific and technical needs, yet there are still some very

specialized needs for high-quality bulk single crystals.

Substrates for epitaxial growth of ﬁlms are exclusively

bulk single crystals. This has been a very well-established

ﬁeld for more than a century. Its biggest impact in tech-

nology came with the invention of transistors in the late

1950s when it was realized that device-quality single crys-

tals of silicon were needed for superior performance and

reproducibility of the transistors. The crystal growth

method, which is today widely known as the ‘‘Czochralski

technique,’’ lived up to this enormous technical challenge.

It is the most widely used method for crystal growth.

Other growth methods are high-temperature solution

growth (HTSG), aqueous solution growth (ASG), Bridg-

man growth, top-seeded solution growth (TSSG), and tem-

perature-gradient transport growth (TGTG), to name only

a few. The literature is full of crystal growth methods ap-

plicable to a variety of materials. Obviously it is not within

the scope of this article to survey the literature for the

crystal growth of even ferroelectric materials. Interested

readers are referred to some excellent work such as given

in Refs. 34–36.

Here we plan to limit ourselves to a very introductory

presentation of this subject. The selection of an appropri-

ate growth method depends on all the factors outlined in

the previous two sections. But the most important criteri-

on is to determine whether a material melts congruently

or incongruently. When, for example, the melt and the

solid of a material have the same chemical composition,

then the material’s melting point is congruent. Otherwise,

it is incongruent. Very few ferroelectrics melt congruently.

As a result, the famous Czochralski technique cannot be

employed for the growth of these materials. This is unfor-

tunate in the sense that other methods are not as versatile

as the Czochralski technique in producing large single

crystals in a reasonable amount of time. The most suc-

cessful methods for the growth of ferroelectric crystals

have been HTSG, TGTG, TSSG, and ASG. The Czochral-

ski technique has been widely used for the congruently

melting members of the family of barium strontium titan-

ate (BST), strontium barium niobate, and lithium niobate

(LiNbO

3

). All these are highly attractive materials for

electrooptic applications and fabrication of optical wave-

guides. Lithium niobate, an excellent ferroelectric and

piezoelectric material, is also widely used as substrates

for building integrated structures.

The famous pyroelectric material, TGS, is grown by

AGS method. This is an excellent material for IR imaging.

But its hygroscopic nature is a drawback. A large number

of ferroelectric crystals have been grown by the HTSG

method, which is also known as the ‘‘ﬂux growth method.’’

Here a suitable solvent is used for dissolving the raw ma-

terials (called ‘‘charge’’ in the vocabulary of crystal

growth) at high temperatures and then cooled very slow-

ly (usually 1–21/h) over many weeks. Relatively large (a

few millimeters to a few centimeters) crystals grow that

are harvested by dissolving the frozen ﬂux in a suitable

solvent. Barium titanate (BaTiO3) has been grown in

device quality by the TSSG method.

A variation of this method is TGTG. This is a very in-

novative technique and has been applied for the growth of

some otherwise difﬁcult-to-grow ferroelectrics with a min-

imum of compositional gradient within the bulk of the

sample. Potassium tantalate niobate (KTN), (Fig. 16),

which has excellent electrooptic, ferroelectric, and pyro-

optic properties, has been grown as a large single crystal

by this method [20].

4. APPLICATIONS

In the preceding sections we have established the multi-

functional nature of ferroelectrics. Ferroelectrics, as we

have already seen, are high dielectric constant materials,

which also possess reversible spontaneous polarization

Film

Source

Figure 15. SbSI ﬁlms grown by physical vapor transport

method.

FERROELECTRIC MATERIALS 1517

and piezoelectric coupling as well as pyroelectricity

simultaneously. These properties are the driving forces

behind the importance of ferroelectrics in a wide range

of technologies. In fact, they play a very vital role in the

advancement of technologies ranging from classical to ul-

tramodern. Classically, ferroelectrics are ceramics. Owing

to their unique electrical properties they are also impor-

tant members of the family of electroceramics.

It is not within the scope of this article to discuss in

depth even the most important applications based on the

multifunctional nature of ferroelectric materials. Interest-

ed readers will ﬁnd the two publications [15,37] useful in

understanding of applications based on ferroelectrics and

associated phenomena and their impact on technology, es-

pecially electronic, electrooptic, communication, and in-

formation technology.

By carefully evaluating the multiple properties and

phenomena associated with these classes of polar materi-

als, we can get an idea of the enormity of its importance to

technology and its potential for the development of novel

devices. We can summarize them as follows:

*

Because ferroelectrics are piezoelectric as well as

pyroelectric, they are also multifunctional.

*

Piezoelectricity can exist alone in some polar materi-

als, or it can be accompanied by pyroelectricity,

or in some other materials all three effects—ferro-

electricity, piezoelectricity, and pyroelectricity—can

coexist.

*

All pyroelectrics are piezoelectrics but not necessarily

ferroelectrics as well.

*

The discovery of existence of both ferroelectricity and

ferromagnetism in the same phase (previously re-

ferred to as mutltiferroic or magnetoelectric) opens

avenues for world-class research in materials science,

physics, and microelectronics.

*

Because piezoelectricity is an excellent class of elect-

ro-optic materials, its impact on the optical industry

is conspicuous.

In the beginning of this article we briefly examined the

equilibrium diagram (Fig. 1) between three forces, electric

ﬁeld (E), temperature (T), and mechanical stress (T

ij

),

and their respective consequences; namely, displacement

(D), entropy (S), and stress (S

ij

). These six agents couple

together in noncentrosymmetric crystals to produce

the multifunctional phenomenon of ferroelectricity. Fig-

ure 17 presents some of these interactions and their con-

sequences.

We have already seen that the domains in ferroelectrics

even at room temperature can be randomly oriented.

Therefore, the materials need to be poled before they

can be utilized for device fabrication and integration. Pol-

ing is a relatively simple operation. First, metallic elec-

trodes are deposited by thermal evaporation or sputtering

or by other means on the surfaces of the samples so

that an electric ﬁeld can be applied to them. Then they

are subjected to a DC electric ﬁeld, which is much greater

than the sample’s coercivity, while slowly raising the

temperature to a point above the Curie point of the ma-

terial, where it is held for some time to ensure that

the entire material is in equilibrium in its paraelectric

state. Subsequently, the temperature is slowly lowered

to room temperature in the presence of the ﬁeld. The pro-

cess involves the nucleation of domains as soon as

the temperature is lowered slightly below the Curie point.

Once the domains form they orient themselves in the

Figure 16. Potassium tantalate niobate (KTN) single crystals

[20]; the length scale shown here corresponds to 1cm.

Agents

Electric field Mechanical stress Temperature

Direct

piezoelectric

effect

Piezocaloric

effect

Piezooptic

effect

Pyroelectric

effect

Thermoelectric

effect

Heat capacity

effect

Converse

piezoelectric effect

Electrocaloric

effect

Electrooptic effect

(a)

(b)

(c)

(a)

(b)

(c)

Memory effect (d)

(a)

(b)

(c)

Figure 17. Agents and effects responsible for fer-

roelectric applications [15].

1518 FERROELECTRIC MATERIALS

direction of the ﬁeld that is present in the sample. Their

number keeps on increasing, as the sample is ﬁnally

reaches room temperature. Now all the domains in the

material are should be fully aligned and will remain so

even after the ﬁeld is removed. At this stage, the poling

has been completed and the ﬁeld is removed. The sample

will retain its poled status as long as it is not reheated

above the Curie point. In that event, one will have to re-

pole the specimen.

On one end of the application spectrum, ferroelectrics

are the dominant material for design and fabrication of

ceramics. They are produced in large volumes and have

the largest share of capacitor market throughout the

world. Because of their unusually high dielectric constant,

a large quantity of electrical energy can be stored in a

relatively small volume and capacitor size. Therefore, fer-

roelectric-based capacitors can be made in large to minia-

turized shapes and fulﬁll vital functions in electronics and

integrated circuits.

On the other end of the spectrum, ferroelectrics

are conspicuously present in an array of modern applica-

tions covering as varied ﬁelds as MEMS technology,

radiofrequency and microwave communication, informa-

tion technology, electrooptics, optical communications,

infrared imaging, uncooled focal plane arrays, and

nonvolatile memory, to name just a few applications and

technologies to which ferroelectric materials have contrib-

uted.

Ferroelectrics dominate the scene of actuators and

transducers because of their piezoelectric properties.

Among all commercially available piezoelectric materials,

Pb zirconate titanate (PZT) plays a very prominent role.

Table 4 lists other piezoelectric materials. PZT is the most

widely used piezoelectric material and has established it-

self as a leading transducer material in microelectrome-

chanical (MEMS) technology.

When it comes to infrared imagining applications, fer-

roelectric materials once again lead the pack of materials

suitable for fabrication of detectors that can operate above

room temperature. These are the so-called uncooled focal

plane arrays. Around 1990 Texas Instruments in Dallas,

Texas championed ferroelectric-based uncooled focal plane

arrays. The original material used was highly dense ce-

ramic of barium strontium titanate (BST) having a tran-

sition temperature of around room temperature. In this

type of device, the unique pyroelectric properties of ferro-

electrics are exploited. In Table 5 we list the leading pyro-

electric materials.

Memory devices based on ferroelectric materials

are nonvolatile, meaning that the data stored are retained

in the memory even when the power fails or is switched

off. This is comparable to the well-established magnetic

memories. Another class of widely used memory is DRAM

(or dynamic random access memory), which consists

of volatile memories. These memories are based on silicon

integrated circuit technology, in which the stored data are

lost once the electrical power of the device is switched off.

In spite of this serious drawback and inconvenience,

DRAMs are widely used because of their high integration

capability. Nonvolatility of a ferroelectric memory is the

result of the stable bipolar states of its hysteresis loop

discussed previously in this article. Constant improve-

ments are being made in the design and integration of

FeRAMs.

Ferroelectrics are also an established group of materi-

als for microwave communications. Barium strontium ti-

tanate (BST) appears to be the leading material for such

applications. The literature is full of reports on how BST

can be used in developing integrated structured devices to

meet various requirements of the microwave communica-

tion. Ferroelectrics are attractive materials for microwave

devices because (1) they have low microwave losses in the

paraelectric phase, (2) dielectric permittivity is DC-ﬁeld-

dependent, (3) tunability is high, and (4) extremely high

values of permittivity make it possible to miniaturize the

devices. The ferroelectric integrated structures (with sil-

icon and superconductors) are attractive for many micro-

wave applications:

*

Varactors and varactor-based devices such as mixers

and harmonic generators

*

Tunable resonators, ﬁlters, and antennas

*

Miniature tunable delay lines and phase shifters

*

High-density capacitors and small-size low-imped-

ance transmission lines

*

Thin-ﬁlm ‘‘bulk acoustic wave’’ resonators and ﬁlters

*

Surface acoustic wave (SAW devices) ﬁlters, convolve-

rs, converters, and similar devices

*

MEMS switches for actuation and transduction.

A good survey of applications of ferroelectric materials in

microwave communications is covered by Patel et al. [38].

Interested readers will beneﬁt greatly from consulting

this resource. Integrated structured devices using ferro-

electric materials as one of the components are becoming

increasingly important for development of new microwave

[39] and other applications [40–46].

The following books and other publications are recom-

mended for serious readers who would like to gain an in-

sight in the ﬁeld of ferroelectricity and related

phenomena.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

1. G. Heckmann, Ergebnisse der exacten Naturwissenschaften

4:140 (1925).

2. J. F. Nye, Physical Properties of Crystals, Oxford Science

Publications, 1986.

3. M. E. Lines and A. M. Glass, Principles and Applications

of Ferroelectrics and Related Material, Clarendon Press,

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8. Draft 16 of a Working Document for a Proposed Standard

to be entitled IEEE Standard Definitions of Terms Associated

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FERROELECTRIC MATERIALS 1519

Trans. Ultrason., Ferroelectrics Freq. Control 50:1613

(2003).

9. L. Solymar and D. Walsh, Electrical Properties of Materials,

6th ed., Oxford Science Publications, 1999.

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12. J. K. Sinha, J. Sci. Instrum. 42:696 (1965).

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14. H. Han, X. Song, J. Zhong, P. Padmini, S. Kotru, and R. K.

Pandey, Appl. Phys. Lett. (Nov. 2004).

15. K. C. Kao, Dielectric Phenomena in Solids, Elsevier Academic

Press, 2004.

16. G. T. A. Kovacs, Micromachined Transducers Sourcebook,

McGraw-Hill, 1988.

17. C. Nistrorica, J. Zhang, P. Padmini, S. Kotru, and R. K. Pan-

dey, Integr. Ferroelectrics 62 (2004).

18. C. Nistorica, Integrated PNZT Film Structures for MEMS

Gyroscope, dissertation, Univ. Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL,

2003.

19. S. Kotru, W. Liu, and R. K. Pandey, Proc. 12th IEEE

Int. Symp. Applications of Ferroelectrics (ISAF 2000),

2001.

20. K. W. Goeking, R. K. Pandey, P. J. Squattrito, A. Clearﬁeld,

and H. R. Beratan, Ferroelectrics 92:89 (1989).

21. F. Jona and G. Shirane, Ferroelectric Crystals, Dover Publi-

cations, 1993 (originally published in 1962).

22. S. Kotru and R. K. Pandey, unpublished result, Laboratory for

Electronic Materials and Device Technology (www.emd-

tech.eng.ua.edu), Univ. Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL.

23. A. J. Moulson and J. M. Herbert, Electroceramics, 2nd ed.,

Wiley, 2003.

24. J.-F. Li, D. Viehland, A. S. Bhalla, and L. E. Cross, J. Appl.

Phys. 71(5):2106 (1992).

25. L. E. Cross, A. S. Bhalla, F. Ainger, and D. Demjanovic,

Pyro-Optic Detector and Imager, US Patent 4,994,672

(1991).

26. R. K. Pandey, S. Kotru, X. Song and D. Donnelly, Bulletin of

the American Physical Society, paper P. 21.6, presented at

March 2003 Meeting of American Physical Society, Montreal,

Canada, 2004.

27. N. Spaldin, Why Are So Few Magnetic Ferroelectrics? gradu-

ate seminar abstract, Univ. California, Santa Barbara,

2003.

28. I. Takeushi, K.-S. Chang, M. Murakami, M. Aronova,

C. I. Lin, and J. Hattrick-Simpers, Bulletin of the American

Physical Society, paper P. 21.3, presented at March 2003

Meeting of American Physical Society, Montreal, Canada,

2004.

29. N. A. Hill and K. M. Rabe, Phys. Rev. B 59:8759 (1999).

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Ramesh, ONR Workshop on Frontiers of Epitaxial Engineer-

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31. V. R. Palkar and R. Pinto, PRAMANA-J. Phys. (Indian Acad-

emy of Sciences) 58(5):1003 (2002).

32. H. Hur, S. Park, P. A. Sharma, J. S. Ahn, S. Guha, and S.-W.

Cheng, Nature 2572 (2004).

33. D. B. Chrisey and G. K. Hubler, Pulsed Laser Deposition of

Thin Films, Wiley, 1994.

34. D. Elwell and H. J. Scheel, Crystal Growth from High-

Temperature Solutions, Academic Press, 1975.

35. J. J. Gilman, ed., The Art and Science of Growing Crystals,

Wiley, 1963.

36. B. R. Pamplin, ed., Crystal Growth, 2nd ed., Pergamon Press,

1980.

37. K. Uchino, Ferroelectric Devices, Marcel Dekker, 2000.

38. D. M. Patel, J. M. Pond, and J. B. I. Rao, Microwave ferro-

electric devices, in J. G. Webster, ed., Wiley Encyclopedia of

Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Vol. 13, Wiley,

New York, 1999, p. 109.

39. S. Hontsu, H. Nishikawa, H. Nakai, J. Ishii, M. Nakamori,

A. Fujimaki, Y. Noguchi, H. Tabata, and T. Kawai, Supercon-

duct. Sci. Technol. 12:836 (1999).

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41. S. Mathews, R. Ramesh, T. Venkatesan, and J. Benedetto,

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Lett. 74:1015 (1999).

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Z. Chen, R. L. Greene, R. Ramesh, T. Venkatesan, and A. J.

Millis, Phys. Rev. Lett. 86:5998 (2001).

45. S. R. Surthi, S. Kotru, and R. K. Pandey, Integr. Ferroelectrics

48:263 (2002).

46. S. Surthi, Integration of Colossal Magnetoresistive Materials

with Ferroelectrics, dissertation, Univ. Alabama, Tuscaloosa,

AL, 2001.

FURTHER READING

F. Jona and G. Shirane, Ferroelectric Crystals, Dover Publications,

1993 (a classic piece of literature on ferroelectricity).

J. F. Nye, Physical Properties of Crystals, Oxford, Univ. Press,

1985 (a fundamental work essential for all students of ceram-

ics and dielectrics).

J. C. Burfoot and G. W. Taylor, Polar Dielectrics and Their Appli-

cations, Univ. California Press, 1979 (a good introductory book

on polar materials).

M. E. Lines and A. M. Glass, Principles and Applications of Fer-

roelectrics and Related Materials, Clarendon Press, 1977 (this

book deals comprehensively with physics of ferroelectricity and

its applications; intended for advanced study and research in

the ﬁeld).

K. C. Kao, Dielectric Phenomena in Solids, Elsevier, 2004 (an ex-

cellent treatment of dielectric materials, including ferroelec-

trics and associated phenomena; a must-read book for students

at the senior undergraduate and graduate levels).

J. Moulson and J. M. Herbert, Electroceramics, 2nd ed., Wiley,

2003 (offers an in-depth treatment of electroceramics).

K. Uchino, Ferroelectric Devices, Marcel Dekker, 2000 (an intro-

ductory book of its kind on device aspects of ferroelectricity and

related materials).

IEEE Standard Definitions of Terms Associated with Ferroelectric

and Related Materials, Draft 16, reprinted in IEEE Trans.

Ultrason. Ferroelectrics Freq. Control 50:1613 (2003)

(this standard should be consulted for basic definitions

and terms in the ﬁeld of ferroelectricity and related

materials; it is an essential work to consult for ferroelectric

research).

1520 FERROELECTRIC MATERIALS

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