A Nonlinear Technique for Bandwidth Improvement in Narrowband Antennas

TR Number
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Virginia Tech

Electrically small, low profile antennas have become the new frontier in wireless communication research. With the pressure to miniaturize wireless communication devices, engineers are turning to small low profile antennas as a way to reduce their antennas and hence their devices.

Ideally, one would also like to at least maintain antenna bandwidth and efficiency while reducing size. However, in theory, antenna performance degrades when it is miniaturized—impedance bandwidth decreases with the reduction in antenna size.

This thesis investigates the possibility of increasing the input impedance bandwidth without enlarging the volume of the antenna. This thesis attempts to break the fundamental tradeoff between antenna size and bandwidth by loading it with a nonlinear element. First, a brief summary of antenna background definitions is presented. Next, the analytical framework of the thesis is presented using a model of a narrowband antenna.

A literature review of various narrowband electrically small antennas is studied, including the pros and cons of the Inverted-F antenna (IFA), Inverted-L antenna (ILA), and the Planar Inverted-F antenna (PIFA).Next, the analysis and the methodology leading to results are discussed and simulated results are presented. Simulated results show that the PIFA is able to achieve a higher bandwidth with a loaded nonlinear element. However, it is difficult to sustain the efficiency of the antenna due to harmonics generated by nonlinearity in the antenna. Results indicate that an increase in nonlinearity tends to generate harmonics which leads to losses in the antenna.

Nonlinear, Antennas, Narrowband, Bandwidth