CST – Computer Simulation Technology

Design and Measurement of Reconfigurable Millimeter Wave Reflectarray Cells With Nematic Liquid Crystal

Title:
Design and Measurement of Reconfigurable Millimeter Wave Reflectarray Cells With Nematic Liquid Crystal
Author(s):
Wenfei Hu, Robert Cahill, José A. Encinar, Raymond Dickie, Harold Gamble, Vincent Fusco, Fellow, Norman Grant
Source:
IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation
Vol./Issue/Date:
Volume: 56, Issue: 10, Oct. 2008
Year:
2008
Page(s):
3112-3117
Keywords:
Beam scanning arrays, liquid crystals (LCs), millimeter wave antennas, phase characterization, quasi-optical measurements, reconfigurable antennas, reflectarray
Abstract:
Numerical simulations are used to study the electromagnetic scattering from phase agile microstrip reflectarray cells which exploit the voltage controlled dielectric anisotropy property of nematic state liquid crystals (LCs). In the computer model two arrays of equal size elements constructed on a 15 ?? thick tuneable LC layer were designed to operate at center frequencies of 102 GHz and 130 GHz. Micromachining processes based on the metallization of quartz/silicon wafers and an industry compatible LCD packaging technique were employed to fabricate the grounded periodic structures. The loss and the phase of the reflected signals were measured using a quasi-optical test bench with the reflectarray inserted at the beam waist of the imaged Gaussian beam, thus eliminating some of the major problems associated with traditional free-space characterization at these frequencies. By applying a low frequency AC bias voltage of 10 V, a 165 phase shift with a loss 4.5–6.4 dB at 102 GHz and 130 phase shift with a loss variation between 4.3–7 dB at 130 GHz was obtained. The experimental results are shown to be in close agreement with the computer model.
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