Graduation Year

2011

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Granting Department

Electrical Engineering

Major Professor

Jing Wang

Keywords

Bandwidth Enhancement, Miniaturization, Nanopthesiss, Permeability, Permittivity

Abstract

This dissertation presents the first reported systematic investigation on the implementation of multilayer patch antennas over Fe3O4-based polymer nanocomposite (PNC) magneto-dielectric substrates. The PNC substrate is created by the monodispersion of Fe3O4 nanopthesiss, with mean size of 7.5nm, in a polymeric matrix of Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS).

Recently, magneto-dielectric substrates have been proposed by several researchers as a means for decreasing the size and increasing the bandwidth of planar antennas. Nevertheless, factors such as high loss and diminished control over magnetic and dielectric properties have hindered the optimal performance of antennas. In addition, the incompatibility and elevated complexity prevents integration of conventional magnetic materials with antennas and standard fabrication processes at printed circuit boards (PCBs) and wafer levels. Additionally, the low hysteresis losses exhibited by uniformly embedded superparamagnetic nanopthesiss complemented by the ease of integration of polymer nanocomposites in standard fabrication processes, offer promising solutions to resolve any of the complications and concerns foresaid.

Towards this dissertation work, one multilayer antenna was constructed over a molded PDMS substrate along with three similar antennas built on PDMS-Fe3O4 PNC substrates with different Fe3O4 nanopthesis loading concentrations in the PDMS matrix of 80%, 50% and 30% by weight. This pioneering work in the experimental implementation and characterization of magneto-dielectric PNC antennas has not only resulted in antennas with different operational frequencies in the 3-5GHz band, but also expanded our knowledge base by correlating the concentration of magnetic nanopthesiss to key antenna performance metrics such as antenna bandwidth, antenna efficiency and miniaturization factors.

Among the most significant results a magneto-dielectric antenna with maximum miniaturization factor of 57%, and a 58% increase in bandwidth, whilst retaining an acceptable antenna gain of 2.12dBi, was successfully demonstrated through the deployment of molded PDMS-Fe3O4 PNC substrate under external DC bias magnetic fields.

This dissertation also presents a versatile process for constructing flexible and multilayer antennas by the seamless incorporation of a variety of materials such as PDMS, Liquid Crystal Polymer (LCP) laminates, metal clads and molded magneto-dielectric polymer nanocomposites with evenly embedded magnetic nanopthesiss.

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