Analysis of Periodic and Random Capacitively-Loaded Loop (CLL) Metamaterial Structures for Antenna Enhancement Applications

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Virginia Tech


After being theorized by Veselago in 1967, recent developments in metamaterials over the last two decades have allowed scientists and researchers to physically demonstrate that artificial composite media can be engineered to exhibit exotic material properties, such as negative refractive index, by exploiting features in arrays of sub-wavelength unit inclusions. These unconventional electromagnetic properties are realized through the coupling of the microscopic unit inclusions, which govern the macroscopic properties of the structure. After demonstrating that a periodic array of capacitively-loaded loop (CLL) inclusions paired with continuous wire results in negative refraction, this study performs numerical simulations to characterize random metamaterial structures. These structures consist of CLLs that are randomized in both position and orientation. In addition, this thesis introduces an innovative antenna enhancing structure consisting of capacitively-loaded loop (CLL) metamaterial elements loaded radially around a standard dipole antenna at an electrically small distance. As a result of this innovative arrangement, the dipole antenna is easily transformed into a directive mechanically scanned antenna with high realized gain. The desired directivity and gain can be tuned based on the number of radial CLL fins placed around the dipole. Interactions between the antenna and metamaterial elements result in significant enhancement of the maximum radiated field amplitude and front-to-back ratio. This innovative CLL-loaded dipole antenna is compared to the conventional Yagi-Uda antenna. The structures presented in this thesis are modeled using full-wave simulation, and one antenna structure is experimentally verified as a proof-of-concept.



Metamaterials, Antennas, Random, Capacitively-Loaded Loops (CLL), Negative Refraction, Loaded Dipole