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Progress In Electromagnetics Research Symposium 2005, Hangzhou, China, August 22-26

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Study of Broadband Dielectric Resonator Antennas


Qinjiang Rao and Tayeb A. Denidni Institute National of Research and Science, Canada Abdel R. Sebak Concordia University, Canada

Abstract
This article briey reviews broadband design techniques in dielectric resonator antennas (DRAs). The attentions focus on a type of DRAs that can oer multi-resonant frequencies and these frequencies can be mergered into a broad band. Index Terms - dielectric resonator antenna, broadband, multi-frequencies.1

I. Introduction
Dielectric resonator antennas (DRAs) have attracted broad attentions in various applications due to their attractive features in terms of high radiation eciency, light weight, small size and low prole [1]-[4]. Over last decades, various bandwidth enhancement techniques have been developed for DRAs. An overview on these techniques has also reported in [4], where these techniques were classied into three broad categories: Lowering the inherent Q -factor of the resonator; using external matching networks; and combine multiple dielectric resonators. In this article, recent broadband designs of dielectric resonator antennas (DRAs) are briey reviewed. The attentions are focused on a type of DRAs that can oer multi- resonance frequencies and these frequencies can be mergered into a broad band. In order to ectively review design techniques, DRAs in this article are also categorized into three types, but unlike in [4], DRAs here are classed in terms of their components, such as a single DRA, multi-DRAs and a hybrid DR with other resonators, respectively. Especially for the hybrid resonator structures, they were not mentioned in [4] for they are newly developed. By using the present way, this article is expected to oer antenna designers more direct design choice and guidance. In order to achieve the above objective, this article rst overviews several special features of DRAs showing their mechanism and potentials of multi-frequencies, and further broadband operation, and then a survey and a collection of several scattered papers are presented , and nally discussions and conclusions are given.

II. Advantages of DRA


DRAs have many attractive features that can provide aborad design exibility in multi- frequency or further broadband operation. These features mainly include the followings: 1) A DRA is a resonance structure, various modes can be excited and each mode has its radiation characteristics depended on its shape, dielectric material and feed structure. For example, as shown in Fig. 1, the T E01 mode of an isolated cylindrical resonator radiates like a magnetic dipole oriented along its axis and the T E01 mode radiates like an axial electric dipole. This gives a clue that a DR with a slot feed may result in a hybrid structure.

Figure 1: Nature of radiation of dierent modes of an isolated cylindrical DR.

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Progress In Electromagnetics Research Symposium 2005, Hangzhou, China, August 22-26

2) A DRA can be excited by various feeds, such as probes, slot, microstriplines, dielectric image guides, coplanar lines and waveguide slot. These excitation methods can accommodate a variety of design restrictions or requirements.

Figure 2: Some geometries used in dielectric resonator antennas. 3) A DRA can be fabricated in various shapes, as shown in Fig. 2 , they may be rectangular, cylindrical, hemispherical, etc., which allows more exibility in antenna design. 4) A wide range of permittivity values can be used ( from about 6 to 100). With the above characteristics, broadband design of DRAs become possible. The next section summaries current broadband design techniques in terms of a single DRA, multi-DRAs and hybrid DR with other resonators. With this clue, several examples are also presented with addressing their advantages and disadvantages.

III. Broadband Design of DRAs


3.1. A Single DRA A single DRA is here dened as one DRA made of only a kind of dielectric material but with various shapes. In order to feed a single DRA to operate at dual or multi- frequencies, and further to be mergered into a broadband, one must let it be excited at least at two dierent modes by using suitable DR geometries. With referring to various geometries, one approach is to remove portions from a regular shaped DRA [2]. Another approach is to modify geometry so as to obtain various shapes, such as a truncated tetrahedron [5], spilt cylinder [6]. The above approaches mainly concerning DRA geometries have some advantages. For example, these approaches can keep DRA in a single volume and compact size. Thus the modied geometries have more design parameters, better performance can be obtained by optimizing these parameters. However, since the excited modes are very sensitive to the dimensions of the DRA, more design parameters may also increase diculty in designs. In addition, due to the high hardness of DRA materials, re-shaping geometry of a DRA is not easy in fabrication. Recently a simple cylindrical DR provides broadband operation by mergering two dierent modes in a mode family [7], it has a simple shape and a single volume but it needs very precise dimensions that leads to dual modes in a mode family, which increases signicantly the diculty in simulations and fabrications. 3.2. Two or Multi- Dielectric Resonators Two or multi- resonators are dened as those having dierent sizes with the same or dierent dielectric materials, they may be loaded or separated from each other. The excited modes in the resonators may be the same or not. For the same modes, the corresponding radiation performances have a good agreement. For the dierent modes, similar patterns can also be obtained after choosing suitable parameters. With the above approach, an earlier design is a pair of slot coupled-DRAs [8]. The proposed structure consists of two rectangular dielectric resonators that are displaced near the two edges of a single slot on a ground plane. Since the two DRAs have the same shape and material but the dierent sizes, it may be possible to get the same resonance modes but with the dierent resonance frequencies. The advantage of this approach is that each resonator can be tuned more or less-independently, allowing for a great deal of design exibility, this reduces the complexity in a trial design. The disadvantage lies in the added real-state required, which increases

Progress In Electromagnetics Research Symposium 2005, Hangzhou, China, August 22-26

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the size of antenna and may preclude some of these congurations from being used in an array environment. There is also one alternative approach proposed for the combination of two dielectric resonators together as if one resonator is loading the other one. For example, a dielectric resonator is stacked on the top of the other [9]-[12], or a smaller size dielectric resonator is inserted into another lager size dielectric resonator [13], [14] In this approach, the combined two dielectric resonators can usually operate at the same modes or at the dierent modes.

c
T

d
wt
L

wc

wg

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-10

S11 [dB]

-15

-20

-25

-30

d =10 mm d= 15 mm d= 18 mm

-35 3.2 3.4 3.6 3.8 4.0 4.2

frequency [GHz]

Figure 3: A hybrid resonator antenna consisting of a pair of dielectric resonators and a radiating T-shaped strip. Although these approaches represent ecient solutions for getting compact size, there are however certain drawbacks. For instance, they require a composite structure, which can result in more dicult in independently tuning of each frequency. In addition, due to the high hardness of dielectric materials, it is not easy to re-shape DRAs. Since they require additional real-estate, the increased insertion loss and the degraded radiation eciency may be occurred.

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3.3. Hybrid Dielectric Resonator with Other Resonators A types of antennas is considered as the combination of a dielectric resonator with other resonators, such as a microstrip patch, a slot, and individual radiator in the hybrid structure are designed to radiate at two separated bands. If the two bands are close to each other, a hybrid resonator can oer broadband operation. This technique is previously employed in aperture coupled microstrip antennas [15], [16]. Recently hybrid resonator antenna techniques have also been used in dielectric resonator antennas, such as a dielectric-resonator-on-patch antenna [17]. In this structure, the power coupling from the microstrip line to the two radiators requires two layer substrates, which increases the size and the complexity of the antenna. Other alternative designs were carried out by using the combination of a dielectric resonator with a strip or a slot radiator. The most improvement for these designs is that the structures use only a substrate layer. For instance, a CPW feed T-shaped strip is used to feed a pair of rectangular DRAs as shown in Fig. 3 [18] or a microstrip fed rectangular slot is employed to feed a rectangular slot [19]. Although the proposed antenna in [19] displays high front-back ratio and asymmetry in the E- plane radiation patterns from both the DR and the slot, further improvements may be obtained by designing the slot to resonate at the upper frequency band, and the DR and the slot are excited at their centers. Hybrid resonator antennas have advantages in terms of low prole and compact size, but usually due to interactions among resonators, the expected resonance frequencies for individual resonance component require more cut and trial processes in simulations and measurements.

IV. Discussion and Conclusion


A review on broadband DRA techniques is briey presented in this article. These bandwidth enhancement techniques are based on multi-frequency resonance and they are classied into three categories according to their physical structures: a single DR, multi-DRs and a hybrid resonator with other resonators. Since broadband DRA designs have been being a current topic, and a lot of interest have been reported through paper work from many researchers, it is impossible to collect all these papers. However, based on our search available techniques nowadays can be fell into the above three categories. Therefore, the bandwidth enhancement techniques mentioned in this article can oer antenna designers wide choice exibility and design guidance for the implementation of broadband DRAs.
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