Graduation Year

2008

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.S.E.E.

Degree Granting Department

Electrical Engineering

Major Professor

Thomas M. Weller, Ph.D.

Keywords

Frequency doubling reflectenna, Diode doubler, Conversion efficiency, Compact microstrip antenna, Meandered antennas

Abstract

In this thesis the development of a high efficiency harmonic re-radiator, consisting of a diode doubler and conjugate-matched receive and transmit antennas, is described. Diode-based frequency multipliers and rectifiers, coupled with antennas, are of interest for quasi-optical applications, for energy-scavenging and for sensing applications. The device studied operates by receiving an interrogating signal at a frequency of 1.3 GHz and re-radiating a signal at 2.6 GHz. The primary goal of this research was to develop a passive, miniature and effective frequency doubler integrated with planar antennas. The system is referred to as a frequency doubling reflectenna, (FDR). Prediction of accurate performance was achieved by employing precise modeling and measurement methods. The FDR can be utilized in data collection applications. The footprint of the FDR is occupied primarily by the receive and transmit antennas.

Therefore, a significant portion of the research focused on the development of compact and efficient planar antennas, which would provide for a miniature FDR. A first-generation FDR design was designed, which utilized quarter-wavelength shorted microstrip patch antennas. The choice of antennas provided a small prototype with dimensions equal to 44 mm by 17 mm. In order to further reduce the size of the harmonic re-radiator, meandered planar antennas were investigated and optimized for efficient operation. A second-generation FDR design, which utilized meandered microstrip patch antennas, was produced and a size reduction of 75% was achieved. Both first- and second-generation harmonic re-radiator designs were designed for low input power operation and provided maximum measured conversion efficiencies of approximately 4.5% and 1.8%, with the input to the diode doubler at -14.5 and -17.5 dBm, respectively.

Re-configurable microwave devices, which dynamically operate at different frequencies, are often desirable for sensing applications. Therefore, to conclude this research, a tunable FDR was realized using a semiconductor varactor that provided the dynamic capacitance required for the tunability.

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