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Planar Microstrip Bandpass Filter Design Using Fractals

Vicuna Rene & Nguyen Le Minh


INTRODUCTION
Conventional microwave filters based on Integrated Microwave Circuit Technology (MIC) are relatively large since the filter designs depend on transmission lines of one-quarter wavelength. Hence, this limits reduction of transceiver size for next generation of wireless communications systems. The purpose of this project was to develop highly innovative filter designs using fractal curves found in nature. Since fractal curves have the property of folding a line into a very compact space, this property is used here for designing filters. The project involved the development of a software program based on Visual-Basic 6 that generates 2Dfractal geometries (e.g. Hilbert, Koch, Levy, T- and H-fractals curves). These fractals then used in the design of microwave filters with the assistance of Agilents MomentumTM CAD package.

FRACTAL PROGRAM
The program can create different types of fractal curves as illustrated below.

COMPARISON OF AN END-COUPLED FILTER WITH AN EQUIVALENT FRACTAL FILTER


0 20.407 mm

HILBERT FRACTAL

H-FRACTAL
0 72.378 mm

0 m1 -10 m1 freq= 3.00GHz dB(S(2,1))=-13.01

m1

0 -2

dB(S(2,1))

dB(S(2,1))

OVERVIEW ON FRACTALS
The mathematical concept of fractals was made famous by Mandelbrot in 1975, however other mathematicians before him contributed to the general knowledge on fractals. Fractals are irregular geometric shapes or patterns that maintain the integrity of the original shape when subdivided into smaller parts. Hilbert, Von Koch, Georg Cantor, Serpinski and Moore, are a few who amongst others have developed fractals to model biological and chemical systems. Recently fractal geometries have been used to develop antennas and frequency selective surfaces.

-20 -30

-1

-10

SNOWFLAKE FRACTAL T-SQUARE FRACTAL

m1 freq= 3.00GHz dB(S(2,1))=-4.63

-4 -6 -8

dB(S(1,1))

dB(S(1,1))

-2 -40 -50 -60 -70 2.7 2.8 2.9 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 -4 -3

-20 -10 -12 -40 2.7 2.8 2.9 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 -14

-30

freq, GHz

freq, GHz

AIMS & OBJECTIVES


To develop a software program to create various fractal curves; To investigate the effect of miniaturizing microstrip resonators using fractal curves; To understand the principles of resonators, filter design theory, and their characterizing parameters e.g. passband insertion-loss, return-loss and Q factor; To design and simulate microstrip bandpass filter for wireless system application; & To validate the fractal filter by constructing it on a typical dielectric substrate (er = 2.17 and h = 0.794 mm) and measuring its performance.

Traditional design
This section shows the layout and responses (insertion-loss & return-loss) of a traditional end-coupled microstrip filter.

New fractal design


This section shows the layout and responses (insertion-loss & return-loss) of a fractal endcoupled microstrip filter. A Hilbert curve with fractal iteration (k) of 2 was used here.

KOCH ISLAND

DRAGON FRACTAL

Both filters were constructed on a dielectric substrate with r = 2.17 and h = 0.794mm. The layouts shown above clearly indicate size reduction of 28.20% using fractal technology compared to a traditional design. In addition, the fractal design significantly improves the passband insertion-loss and return-loss, however this is at the expense of its 3 dB bandwidth is virtually double the size.

CONCLUSIONS TEST & MEASUREMENT


The work conducted in this project confirms that fractal curves can be used to design microstrip filters. The measured and simulation results confirm that fractal filters offer substantial size reduction (~30%) without degrading the filter performance. Greater reduction can be achieved by using higher order fractal iteration, but requires a fabrication system that enables construction of very small scaled circuits to a very high degree of precision.

PROJECT PLAN
Start Develop software to generate various fractal curves Import fractal curves into Agilents MomentumTM CAD Design microwave filter theory Convert fractal geometries into DXF format Fabricate and test filter performance

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Mathematically model fractal geometries Vectorise boundary of fractal geometries Simulate & optimise filter performance to specifications End

A 3 GHz bandpass filter prototype based on Hilbert fractal was designed & manufactured on standard substrate & tested using Marconi 6200 network analyser

We would like to thank our supervisor Dr B Virdee for his great support and guidance. We would also like to thank Mr S Bashir and Mr P Petite for assisting us in the fabrication of the filters.

Department of Computing, Communications Technology & Mathematics, London Metropolitan University, 166-220 Holloway Road, London N7 8DB