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3, MARCH 2003


Center-Fed Microstrip Patch Antenna
Zhi Ning Chen, Member, IEEE, and Michael Yan Wah Chia, Member, IEEE
Abstract—A novel feeding scheme for microstrip patch antennas is presented, which consists of a coaxial probe and shorting pin separated by a narrow slot centrally cut at the radiating patch. The impedance and radiation characteristics of a conventional probe-fed microstrip patch antenna and the proposed microstrip patch antenna are experimentally examined and compared. The effects of the slot length on the antenna operation are also discussed. Index Terms—Input impedance, microstrip patch antennas, radiation patterns.

I. INTRODUCTION ECAUSE OF attractive properties, microstrip patch antennas (MPAs) have extensively been used in commercial and military communication systems. In general, the MPAs can be fed in some ways. For example, connecting a microstrip line directly to the edge of a patch is a good option for coplanar applications as shown in Fig. 1(a). By properly inserting a pair of cuts at the patch, good impedance matching condition between the patch and line can readily be achieved without any additional matching elements [1], [2]. Attaching the extended inner conductor of a coaxial line electrically to the patch is a simple feeding manner as illustrated in Fig. 1(b). The impedance matching condition can be controlled by changing the position of the feed point [3]. Proximity coupling is another important way to excite the patch antennas. Typically, the patch can be fed by a buried line below the patch or a microstrip line through a small non-resonance aperture on a ground plane as depicted in Fig. 1(c) and (d) [4]–[6]. By properly controlling the electromagnetic coupling between the feeding line or aperture and the patch, one can match the feed and patch well in a broad frequency range. Furthermore, the radiation characteristics of the MPAs within their operating bandwidths are important design considerations. Usually, the ratio of cross-polarization to copolarization radiation levels in specific planes within certain beamwidths should be lower than the specified levels for the applications requiring high polarization purity. Generally, the ratio of cross–polarization to copolarization radiation levels increases at the higher frequencies within the operating bandwidths [7]–[10]. The studies have also proven that the excitation of undesired higher order modes basically results in the cross-polarized radiation of the MPAs. Both geometric and electrical parameters of the MPA mainly affect the cross-polarized radiation. For example, for a
Manuscript received February 22, 2001; revised February 25, 2002. The authors are with the Institute of Infocomm Research, 20 Science/ Communications Research, Singapore 117674 Singapore (e-mail: chenzn@i2r.; Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/TAP.2003.809826


Fig. 1. Common feeding schemes of MAPs.

rectangular MPA, the ratio of cross-polarization to copolarization radiation levels primarily depends on its aspect ratio and the thickness and/or dielectric constant of the substrate supporting the patch. Therefore, the proper selection of feeding configurations and geometric structures may be conducive to enhancing the radiation performances of MPAs. This paper describes a structurally symmetrical and electrically balanced (or balance-like) feeding structure for the MPAs. This feeding arrangement features the ease of impedance matching and the improvement of radiation performances. Basically, this design is a center-fed (CF) feeding configuration, which comprising a coaxial probe and shorting pin separated by a narrow rectangular slot centrally cut at the patch. To manifest the operation, the detailed comparisons of the measured input impedance and radiation patterns of a conventional MPA and a proposed center-fed microstrip patch antenna (CF-MPA) are made. The effects of the lengths of slot cut from the CF-MPA on the impedance-matching condition and resonance frequency are also taken into account. II. DESCRIPTION OF ANTENNA AND MEASURED RESULTS A. Center-Fed Microstrip Patch Antenna (CF-MPA) The schematic and dimensions of proposed CF-MPA are shown in Fig. 2. A 44 44-mm square patch is centrally etched onto a 94 94-mm-square dielectric substrate of Roger 4003 and a thickness with a relative dielectric constant of 60 mil. The bottom of the dielectric substrate is completely covered by foil and grounded. A 1-mm-wide rectangular slot is concentrically cut at the patch, which longer sides are parallel to mm. One of the longer the axis. The slot length is set slot sides is grounded by a shorting pin of a 0.6-mm diameter at the midpoint of slot side. A 50- coaxial probe of a 1.27-mm diameter, directly feeds the midpoint of the opposite longer

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For comparison. denote the frequencies for the lower edge. The measurements were carried out in an anechoic chamber covering 0. B. and and higher edge of the operating bandwidth. 4. In addition. The measured results listed in Table I show that the 2 : 1 VSWR bandwidths of the MPA and CF-MPA are. Measured radiation patterns in E planes at f (a) CF-MPA. The detailed comparisons of the measured patand H planes are displayed in Fig. the measured input impedance and VSWR of the conventional probe-fed MPA and CF-MPA are illustrated in Fig. the symmetrical structure and balance-like feeding configuration are designed to improve the radiation performances of the CF-MAP.9%. and the resonance frequency of the CF-MPA is 4% lower than that of the MPA due to the central slot. The .1% and 0. quencies. Fig. .2 40 GHz. VOL. respectively. Measured input impedance and VSWR against frequency. respectively. Then the copolarized and cross-polarized radiation patterns of both MPA and CF-MPA were measured at their typical fre. MARCH 2003 TABLE I A DETAILED COMPARISON OF THE MEASURED RESULTS Fig. (b) MPA. 3(a) suggests that the two MPAs have nearly the same impedance characteristics but the slightly different resonance frequencies. 51. 3. a conventional probe-fed MPA of the same dimensions as the CF-MPA is also fabricated. 3. NO. side of the slot through an SMA connector. namely. Measured Results First. and f Fig. 2. which is fed by a coaxial probe at mm.f . Geometry of the proposed CF-MAP. (a) (b) Fig. and . center. . The studies have shown a point ( that the adjustment of the slot length ( can readily control the impedance matching. mm). . 1. 4 terns in both E . 3.484 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ANTENNAS AND PROPAGATION.

By the equivalent current concept. Moreover. 4 shows that in the E planes. Fig. 85 (E plane) and 87. The front-to-back ratios of the copolarization radiation of the CF-MPA in E planes are. copolarization radiation levels lower than 25 dB in all the radiation directions and 30 dB in the boresight. Each of the copolarized and cross-polarized radiation patterns was normalized by the maximum of relevant copolarized radiation. In this proposed feeding scheme. 6. which shows that in both E and H planes the CF-MPA has an advantage of low cross-polarization radiation levels over the MPA. respectively. about 2 dB lower than that of the MPA. the other two cases have more cross-polarized currents. the narrow slot at the patch can also be replaced by an equivalent center-fed magnetic line source of equivalent magnetic current.32 and 5. respectively. C. 1 = 20log j 020log j (b) Fig. a pair of the shorting pin and feeding probe carrying the out-of-phase currents with almost the equal magnitudes forms a balance-like feeding system. the CF-MPA has the ratios of cross-polarization. . which significantly contribute to the cross-polarized radiation. 5 that in the H planes. 5. 5. Compared with the ideal case. however. It is more .5 (H plane).5 (H plane). the cross-polarized radiation for the case with the dual-probe feeding arrangement has been greatly suppressed due to the out-of-phase and symmetrical cross-polarized currents near the feed points [11]–[14]. It is seen from Fig. the CF-MPA and MPA have almost the same gains (5. Comparison of radiation performance between the MPA and jE =E j E = CF-MPA ( E ). which are much lower than those of the MPA. (b) MPA. A comparison of the ratios of cross-polarization to copolarization radiation levels has been made in Fig.CHEN AND CHIA: CENTER-FED MICROSTRIP PATCH ANTENNA 485 (a) Fig. Discussions Fig. Measured radiation patterns in H planes at f (a) CF-MPA. where the half-power beamwidths of the MPA and CF-MPA are. Fig. which centrally excites the patch through a narrow slot. 7 illustrates the distributions of electric currents induced at the patches where the ideal case and cases with the dual-probe and proposed feeding structures at the high-operating frequencies are considered. the cross-polarization radiation levels of the CF-MPA are 26 dB or more below the copolarization radiation levels. The measured results show that both MAPs have almost the same and quite stable copolarized radiation characteristics in both E and H planes across the entire operating bandwidths. and 90 (E plane) and 87. Schematic of cross-polarized currents at the patches under different feeding schemes.f . However. as against 24 dB of the MPA. especially at the higher frequencies in the operating bandwidth.36 dBi). 6. and f and Fig.

[9] K. M.” Electron. 3. Broadband Patch Antennas. the conclusion has been drawn that a symmetrical balanced center-fed microstrip patch antenna is capable of providing the satisfactory radiation performances across an operating bandwidth. pt. pp. Based on the studies. Both simulations and experiments have demonstrated that the resonance frequency and impedance matching condition are sensitive to the slot length . Luk. vol. Lett..” Electron. 1997. 3. Wong. vol. vol. and J.K. 26. Kaufman.” Electron. In addition. MARCH 2003 radiation performances with low cross-polarized radiation within a large beamwidth even in all the radiation directions. [7] J. vol. Hall. M. pp. Pozar. “Experimental study of the cross-polarization characteristics of rectangular patch antennas. 21. vol.. Levis. Munson.. E. However. [5]. namely the center of the patch. 28.. A. Lett. Symp. 1988. pp. 587–560. vol. [6] D. 29. Elect. U. It is observed that the longer the slot is the lower the resonant frequency. K. pp.: Pereginus. 1985. [11] P. 1999. A. “Increasing the bandwidth of a microstrip antenna by proximity coupling. vol. Lett. [12] W.” Proc. and A. Papiernik. 1987. and N. Gagnon. Norwood. “Cross-polarization characteristics of the circular patch antennas. 36.5 to 14 mm are shown in Fig. J. “Coplanar corporate feed effects in microstrip patch array design. M. Petosa. L. Therefore. p. Q. pp. Antennas Propagat. Handbook of Microstrip Patch Antennas. vol.. [14] L. 169–171. R. The measured impedance and radiation characteristics of a conventional probe-fed microstrip patch antenna and a proposed center-fed microstrip patch antenna have been compared. Zürcher and F. pp. S. . no insertion losses caused by the additional feeding network. and P. [4] J. Lett. Gardiol. “Conformed microstrip antennas microstrip patched arrays. H. “Cross-polarization characteristics of the circular patch antennas. vol. Lee. 1987. 634–627. Pozar and B.. “Probe compensation in thick microstrip patches. “Microstrip antennas aperture-coupled to microstrip line. B. Mosig. 23. VOL. [2] P. vol. Lee. the effects of the central slot with different lengths on the CF-MPA design are discussed by a commercial software package (Ensemble version 5. “Probe radiation cancellation in wideband probe-fed microstrip arrays. the cross-polarization radiation fields will be cancelled out even in all the radiation directions. D. Y. Inst.” Microwave Opt..” in Proc. [13] A.” Electron. Lee.. M. Hall. Compared with the dual-probe feeding or aperture-coupling scheme. The simulated VSWR and impedance loci in the Smith chart for the slot lengths ranging from 10. pp. 74–78. A. 1992. Petosa. 1280–1281. 35.. (b) Input impedance. 8. the multilayered substrates with high back radiation and insertion loss to some degree offset this merit.” Electron.” IEEE Trans. (a) VSWR. F. [5] D.” Int. REFERENCES [1] R. as depicted in Fig. Dig. 2000. 368–369. Lett. 51. Hsu and K. R. 1989. 1995. “Modeling of coaxial feed contribution to microstrip antenna impedance: Comparison of a numerical model with analytical expressions.” Electron. important to notice that this arrangement allows most of the cross-polarized currents to exist primarily near the slot. NO. 23. pp. 397–404. 1989. S. “A dual capacitively fed broadband patch antenna with reduced cross-polarization radiation. and K. CONCLUSION (a) A new feeding scheme for the microstrip patch antennas has been described experimentally. 180–186. Lett. IEEE AP-S Int. Simulated VSWR and input impedance in Smith chart. III.. Hall. 2000. Hall and C. and good . Design Consideration Moreover. pp. E. Technol.486 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ANTENNAS AND PROPAGATION. S. [3] J. Therefore. Huynh. Ittipiboon. [8] R. pp. Stevenage.0). M. 1993. MA: Artech House. [10] R. 1974. “Suppression of unwanted probe radiation in wideband probe-fed microstrip patches. changing the slot length can significantly control the impedance matching condition and slightly adjust the resonance frequency. the center-aperture-coupled microstrip patch antennas also achieve good radiation performances due to their symmetrical feeding structures [4]. the proposed feeding arrangement has the advantages of simple structure without the additional feeding network required in the other two schemes. Tam.” Electron. 135. Waterhouse. T. James and P. 49–50. 33. Ittipiboon. Laheurte. and keep symmetrical with respect to the center of the patch and out of phase. Microwave Millimeter Wave CAE. (b) Fig. 606–607. 606–607. 8. Lett. Eng. H. pp. vol. 355–357. F. Lett. AP-22. pp. 7.

K. U. RFIC. Technology Group Manager.. From 1997 to 1999. he was with the SEU as a Visiting Scholar. China. and then Associate Professor. he was also Project Manager. he joined the Institute for Infocomm Research (formerly the Centre for Wireless Communications of the National University of Singapore and Institute for Communications Research) as a Member of the Technical Staff (MTS). In 1988. (Hon. Principal MTS. as a Member. degrees in electric engineering from the Institute of Communications Engineering (ICE). From 1994 to 2000. Japan. he is the Director of the Radio Division with the Institute of Communications and Devices Division with the Institute of Infocomm Research. He has one patent and one patent pending related to broadband plate antennas. His main research interests include antennas. degrees from Loughborough University. he was the recipient of a Post-doctoral Fellowship awarded by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS). software radio. he was with the Centre of Wireless Communications (CWC). From 2000 to 2001. and then as a Research Fellow.Eng. he is an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. and Ph. funded by the National Science Technology Board (NSTB).D. 2002–2003. supported by the Ministry of Education. Since July 2000. He is listed in Marquis Who’s Who in Science and Engineering. He is the author of 21 journal and 40 conference international publications. he has been the Director of Radio Division in CWC. radio over fiber and opto-electronics. Concurrently. Tsukuba. lightweight antennas for wireless communication systems. M. Dr. He worked for the Southeast University (SEU). Nanjing. In 1999. Technology and Research (A*STAR). . National University of Singapore. His research interests include applied computational electromagnetics and antenna theory and designs.D. He has authored or coauthored over 90 technical papers in international journals and at conference proceedings. He received the B. Chia was a Member of the Panel of the Public Service Funding-PSF/URP of A*STAR from 2001 to 2002. and then Strategic Research Group Leader. RFID. In 2001. he was with the City University of Hong Kong as a Research Assistant. as a Post-doctoral Fellow. Loughborough. China. his research is focused on the designs of small broadband.Eng. his research is focused on the designs of small. China. Currently. Agency for Science. PA linearization.CHEN AND CHIA: CENTER-FED MICROSTRIP PATCH ANTENNA 487 Zhi Ning Chen (M’99) was born in Nanjing. Senior MTS. Research Associate. and was then promoted to Associate Professor. Michael Yan Wah Chia (M’94) received the BSc. he joined the ICE and was appointed Teaching Assistant. then a Senior Member of the Technical Staff. again under the Invitation Fellowship Program (senior level) of JSPS. Senior Research Associate. and is now a Senior Scientist and Manager of the Department of Radio Systems. he visited the University of Tsukuba. Currently. He has been granted three patents and has six patents pending. broadband. Currently. lightweight antennas for wireless communications sytems..) and Ph. From 1995 to 1997. China. National University of Singapore. and worked at the University of Tsukuba. During this time. Lecturer.