3D-Printed Dielectric Resonator Antennas for Wireless Communications

Project: Research

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Antenna is an important part of wireless communication systems because it directly affects the signal transmission and reception. Recently, the dielectric resonator (DR) antenna (DRA) has been studied extensively due to a number of advantages including its low loss, small size, low cost, and ease of excitation.The performance of a DRA is dependent on its structure. By developing good DRA structures, attractive antennas can be obtained. However, DRA structures investigated thus far generally do not deviate too much from the basic ones due to fabrication constraints. But as the 3D printing technology has become mature, new structures that were deemed not practical before can now be fabricated easily, breaking the fabrication limitations that have been found by traditional methods for years. This project will apply the 3D-printing technology to designs of DRAs, giving new 3D-printed ceramic DRAs. With 3D printing, innovative DRA structures are now only limited by imagination, greatly advancing the development of DRA.In this project, different 3D-printed DRAs will be investigated for the first time. A new wideband omnidirectional circularly polarized (CP) DRA will be studied first, followed by an investigation of a new wideband twisted CP DRA. Next, the 3D-printing technology will be used to fabricate three new inhomogeneous antenna structures. The first inhomogeneous antenna is the 3D-printed omnidirectional 4-layer cylindrical DRA, which has a wide impedance bandwidth of more than 40%. For the second design, the DRA is sectionalized in the elevation plane, with each region having its own dielectric constant. This new design can provide the same beamwidth for the two principal radiation patterns and can be used as a feed antenna. The last design is the 3D-printed lens-integrated DRA for high-gain applications. This structure is inhomogeneous because the DRA and lens have different dielectric constants. Since different dielectric constants are needed for the inhomogeneous structures, the idea of unit cell will be used to obtain different effective dielectric constants. Engineering formulas for designing the unit cell will be given in the project.CST Microwave Studio will be used to model the unit cell, whereas ANSYS HFSS will be used to simulate each 3D-printed DRA. The simulated results will be substantiated by measurements. Finally, guidelines will be provided to facilitate designs of the 3D-printed DRAs.


Project number9042672
Grant typeGRF
Effective start/end date1/01/1920/06/22