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2011 IEEE International Conference on System Engineering and Technology (ICSET)

A Design of Reconfigurable Rectangular Microstrip

Slot Patch Antennas
M. T. Ali, N. Ramli, M.K.M.Salleh and M.N.Md.Tan
Faculty of Electrical Engineering (FKE)
Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM),
Shah Alam, Selangor 40450, Malaysia. ,, and

Abstract—A compact of a reconfigurable rectangular attention in wireless communication systems due to their
microstrip slot patch antenna of operating frequencies in capability to vary their operating frequency, radiation pattern
the range of (2-6) GHz is proposed for Wireless Local Area and polarization [4]. In this case, we want a reconfigurable
Network (WLAN) applications. It has one port excited with antenna that maintains its radiation pattern at different
microstrip line feed mechanism. The proposed antenna frequencies. Typically, dual-frequency operations have been
consists of a single layer patch antenna with two parallel attained by mutilayer stacked patches [5] and little attention
slots designed that can be controlled via two PIN diode has been paid to single layer microstrip antennas [6]. The dual
switches. Two parallel slots are incorporated to perturb the band microstrip antenna (MSA) is realized by cutting the slots
surface current path, introducing local inductive effect that of different shapes like, U-slot, V-slot, pair of rectangular slots
is responsible for the excitation of the second resonant and step slots and others shapes of slot [7 - 9]. A U-slot is
mode. By adjusting the status of the switches state either on incorporated into the square patch, where the frequency
or off mode in simultaneously, the resonance frequencies diversity characteristic of the antenna is realized by switching
can be varied, thus achieving frequency reconfigurable. A PIN diode on U-slot of an MSA ON and OFF [4]. A different
comprehensive parametric study has been carried out to reconfigurable MSA with a switchable slot has been proposed
understand the effects of various dimensional parameters in [9] to realize various functionalities, such as dual frequency
(slots and PIN diode switches) and to optimize the operation, dual band CP performance and polarization
performance of the antenna. This antenna is capable to diversity with only one patch and single feeding point. In [10],
achieve return loss less than -10dB and VSWR≤2 in the author suggested for reconfigurable antenna which
multiband frequencies at 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz when both integrated with RF switching at feeding line applications.
switches are ON mode while only in 2.4GHz can be Unfortunately, majority of the reconfigurable antenna are
achieved when both switches are OFF mode. The designed applied to a complex and latest of the MSA design. Therefore,
antennas have been also fabricate onto FR-4 and measured a technique of a reconfigurablity is applied and proposed to a
to compare the real results of return loss (S11) and voltage conventional of a rectangular microstrip antenna to increase
standing wave ratio (VSWR) with those obtained from the the antenna’s performance.
simulations. The proposed antenna is very promising for This paper, the behaviors of a reconfigurable rectangular
various modern communication applications. microstrips slot patch antenna of operating (2-6) GHz have
been studied and analyzed. In this work, a comprehensive
Keywords- Reconfigurable microstrip antenna, PIN diode parametric study has been carried out to understand the effects
switches, two parallel slots of various dimensional parameters of slots and PIN diodes
switches mode (“on” or “off’). The reconfigurable of
I. INTRODUCTION rectangular microstrip slot patch of operating multiband, as well
as single band frequencies at either both (2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz)
There is a developmental trend in wireless communication or 2.4 GHz alone, for wireless local area network (WLAN)
system that demands the use of antennas capable of accessing application is designed. Section II describes the antenna design
services in various frequency bands [1], sometimes with the of this antenna while in section III, parametric study on two
use of a single antenna [2]. The increasing demand for modern antenna structures have been studied and analyzed. The first
mobile, satellite and wireless communication systems in the antenna is a conventional of rectangular MSA with added two
world make many researchers worked hard in order to improve parallel slots onto patch, also known as in off mode. While
the performances and enhance the application of the Microstrip another antenna is when two PIN diode switches are added
Patch Antenna (MSA). Reconfigurable antenna will be an along each slots (known as on mode). The proposed antenna is
attractive feature in the modern wireless communication then simulated by using Computer Simulation Technology
system because it enables to provide a single antenna to be (CST) Studio Suite 2009. Section IV discussed on the design
used for multiple systems [3]. Moreover, it also has great approach, simulation and measurements results. Finally section
V concludes the work.

978-1-4577-1255-5/11/$26.00 ©2011 IEEE 111

2011 IEEE International Conference on System Engineering and Technology (ICSET)


The resonance frequency (fo) of the lower patch is chosen
to be around 2.4 GHz. The substrate used for the antenna is
FR-4 with dielectric constant, εr = 4.7, loss tangent 0.019 and
the thickness is 1.6 mm. The thickness of the ground (PEC)
material is 0.035 mm. The size of the feed line is adjusted to
make sure that the impedance of the antenna is 50Ω. The size
of the slits may also affect the impedance. The calculated
values of the parameters are as tabulated in Table 1 below.
However, in simulation, those parameters have to be tuned to
get a better and more accurate antenna response. Therefore, the
final (optimized) dimensions of a reconfigurable microstrip
patch antenna operating at frequency 2.4 GHz also shown in
table 1 below. Figure 2. The structure of a Reconfigurable Rectangular Microstrip Slots
Patch Antenna using Feed Line
RECONFIGURABLE RECTANGULAR MICROSTRIP SLOTS PATCH Below is the design formulas used to calculate the dimensions
of the conventional rectangular MSA:
Parameters Calculated Optimized The width of the Microstrip patch antenna is given in Equation
Dimensions Dimensions (1) by using [2]:
(mm) (mm)
Patch Width, W 37.02 45.0
Patch Length, L 28.4 28.0 (1)
Substrate Width, Wg 46.6 55.0
Substrate Length, Lg 38.0 50.0 Effective dielectric constant (εreff) is given in Equation (2), [2]:
Feeder length, Lf 4.8 8.0
Feeder width, Wf 2.88 3.0
xo 0.5 2.0 (2)
yo 4.0 4.0
Equation (3) gives the length extension (ΔL) as [2]:
slot1=slot2 (width) 1.0 1.0
Length of slot1 (sl1) Optimization 16.0
Length of slot2 (sl2) Optimization 9.0
Switch:S1=S2 (width) 1.0 1.0 (3)
Switch:S1=S2 (length) 0.5 0.5
The actual length is obtained from equation (4) as using [2]:


Equation (5) and (6) gives the Wg and Lg:


Microstrip feed line used for patch antenna determined to

be fed for 50 ohm for line impedance (Zo). Equation (7) and
(8) below show the formulas for feeder length (Lf) and feeder
width for microstrip feed line by using [2]:

Figure 1. The structure of calculated dimensions for conventional design of a
rectangular microstrip antenna Zo
Next, to make it as a reconfigurable antenna, the two
slot and switches are added onto the patch. Figure 3 shows
antenna structure for a reconfigurable of rectangular microstrip
slots patch antenna for this project.

2011 IEEE International Conference on System Engineering and Technology (ICSET)


A. Antenna design with two slots (OFF mode)

A conventional rectangular microstrip patch antenna is
first designed and altered to get a required specification at 2.4
GHz frequency. This design is used as a benchmark to design a
first of the antenna structure which is a reconfigurable
rectangular microstrip antenna with slots or known as OFF
mode switches. The parametric study is based on the effects of
various dimensional parameters when slots are added to the Figure 4. The parametric study of the PIN diode switches position along each
conventional rectangular microstrip antenna. Two parallel slots
are incorporated to perturb the surface current path, TABLE III. THE PARAMETRIC STUDY OF THE SWITCHES
introducing local inductive effect that is responsible for the POSITION ALONG THE SLOTS (SWITCHES: ON MODE)
excitation of the second resonant mode. The dimensional
parameters of two slot lengths at different spacing from both Switch Switch 1st: S11 2nd: S11 3rd: S11
1, (S1) 2, (S2)
edges of the antenna will produced a multiband frequency. By
optimizing and adjusting the spacing and the slots length, the S1a S2a 4.135 GHz 2.4 GHz 5.48 GHz
simulated S11 response is recorded and analyzed. Figure 4 (-39.726dB) (-37.780dB) (-31.49
below shows some of the slots optimization at different x-axis dB)
spacing. The final slots dimensions are shown in table 2 along S1b S2b 2.4 GHz 3.985 GHz -
the simulated data. This arrangement yields two resonance (-33.19 dB) (-12.129 dB)
frequencies. **S1 S2 2.4 GHz - -
S1c S2c 2.4 GHz 4.0286 GHz -
(-40.30dB) (-11.029 dB)
S1d S2d 5.795 GHz 2.4 GHz 5.55 GHz
(-47.55 dB) (41.788 dB) (-28.79 dB)

From the results, we can see that the effects of the switches is,
it added another varies of multiband frequency to the antenna.
Figure 3. Parametric study of the Slots optimization with x-axis spacing: (a) However, the result that given only a single band frequency at
2.5 mm. (b) 4.3 mm. (c) 9.5 mm 2.4 GHz is chosen when the swicthes is in ON mode. The (**)
in table 3, shows the final position of the switches along the
SLOTS LENGTH DIMENSIONS (SWITCHES: OFF MODE) slots that achieved the desired targetted. Next, both antenna
Slot 1 Slot2 1st: S11 2nd: S11 structure have been fabricate onto FR-4 to demonstrate the
(mm) (mm) performance of this antenna. Figure 6 below, show both of the
Slot length 16 9 f1= f2= antenna’s prototype.
Spacing 4.3 4.3 5.8 GHz 2.4 GHz
Spacing up 1 1 ( -37.02dB ) (-32.12dB)

B. Antenna design with two slots and PIN diode switches

(ON mode)
Second structure is when two PIN diode switches are
integrated into each slot or known as ON mode switches. The
positions of the switches are optimized at a few positions as
shown in figure 4 to control the reconfigurable frequency. The
position of switch1 and switch2 must be changed either above,
below or center of each slot1 and slot2. All the analyzed
results of the changes positions of the swicthes is shown in the
table 3.

Figure 5. Antenna’s prototype. (a) Reconfigurable antenna with switches is

in OFF mode. (b) Reconfigurable antenna with switches is in ON mode

2011 IEEE International Conference on System Engineering and Technology (ICSET)

IV. RESULT AND DISCUSSION by tuning by adjusting and optimizing the dimensions of the
Numerical simulations and measurements were conducted slot. The pattern of return loss in simulated results and
on the two of the antenna structure, either the switches are OFF measured results is quite similar, but actually the frequencies
mode or ONN mode. The simulation and optimization of the and the values are shifted slightly. The measured results are
design is done by commercial simulation software CST shifted to 5.6 GHz with return loss frequency -22.88 dB and to
Microwave Studio Simulator and a Rohde & Schwarz ZVA40 2.5 GHz at -18.22 dB. Parametric studies on effect of changing
vector network analyzer is used for the return loss the positions of the slot are its produced multiband frequency
measurements. The results of resonant frequency, return loss and a return loss.
(RL) and the VSWR for the simulated and measured results are
tabulated as Table IV below.
Parameter Reconfigurable Reconfigurable
antenna with OFF antenna with ON
switches condition switches condition
Simulation Measured Simulation Measured
Resonant f1= 5.8 f1= 5.6 f1= 2.4 f1= 2.5
frequency f2= 2.4 f2= 2.5
Return S11,1= S11,1= S1,1= S1,1=
Loss, S11 -37.02 -22.88 -42.984 -24.556
(dB) S11,2= S11,2=
-32.12 -18.22


1.043 1.2 1.01 1.21
VSWR2= VSWR2= Figure 7. Result of S11 parameters when switches is in ON mode
1.063 1.3
When both switches are in ON mode (slots and
Gain g1= 3.826 - g1= 3.826 -
dB dB
switches), where S1 and S2 are located at the center of the
g2= 1.414 slots, the antenna will produces multiband or singleband
dB frequency which is dropped at 2.4 GHz. The current position
of the switch at the centre is chosen while its controlled the
reconfigurability frequency. From figure 7,the simulated result
will give a results of a singleband frequency with the return
loss is -42.984 dB at 2.4 GHz, much higher compares to the
previous of the antenna design (off mode) performance. The
return loss for measurement result is slightly lower compare to
simulation result whereby value at 2.5 GHz is -24.556. The
return loss characteristics of both simulation and measurement
results are presented that the pattern is almost same but the
frequency dropped is shifted slightly away from the simulated
results. Besides that, the VSWR also presents the best result
and performance which is equal to 1.0142 at 2.4 GHz while the
measured results is shifted to 2.5 GHz with VSWR equal to
Next, the simulated results of the radiation patterns of
the antenna when the switch is ON mode or OFF mode are
presented in Figure 8 and figure 9. Figure 9 shows the
radiation pattern obtained from simulation results when the
Figure 6. Result of S11 parameters when switches is in OFF mode switches are in OFF condition. A performance of
reconfigurable antenna is good for multiband frequency at 2.4
Figure 6 above shows the results of a reconfigurable
GHz and 5.8 GHz. This is due to the feed line that is situated
rectangular MSA with slots (off mode switches). The
at the same layer of the substrate with added of two slots and
resonance frequencies for the simulation result are dropped at
switches. The main lobe magnitude at 2.4 GHz is 3.8 dB while
5.8 GHz and 2.4GHz. Moreover, the value of return loss
at 5.8 GHz the value is -1.6 dB. Besides that, the 3 dB half
frequency of this antenna is -37.012 dB and -32.12 dB each.
power beamwidth (HPBW) are 94.4˚ (2.4 GHz) and 60.6˚.
Hence, a slot will function as to introduced varies of the
However, measurement to determine radiation pattern of the
resonance frequency. The resonance frequency can be varied

2011 IEEE International Conference on System Engineering and Technology (ICSET)

antenna’s prototype shall not be carried out due to the lack of in Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN). The purpose
tools and equipments. antenna can handle and control the frequency band either to a
single band or multiband frequency in one time. A
comprehensive parametric study has been carried out by
optimizing the various dimensional parameters (slots and
switches). Slots are added to a rectangular patch antenna
(switches are in OFF mode) in order to obtain multiband
resonance frequencies at 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz with return loss
less than -10 dB. Two switches are added, which is the
switches are in ON mode to control the reconfigurability of the
antenna designed only at 2.4 GHz frequency. By adjusting the
status of switches that optimally fixed along the slots, we can
vary the resonance frequencies, thus achieving the frequency
reconfigurable. More work in the future will be focused since
the result of 5.8 GHz is not really good in the antenna
performance where the gain is very smaller compare to 2.4
GHz. Besides that, in the advance of technology era, all
electronic related devices are reducing in size. Therefore it is
important for the sizes of these antennas to be reduced. The
Figure 8. Simulated radiation patterns for a rectangular MSA with 2 slots
preferred substrate also needs to be wisely selected. The
(OFF mode) at the frequency 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz permittivity of the substrate affects the size and performances
of the antenna.
From figure 10, the radiation pattern results the good REFERENCES
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V. CONCLUSION [10] M. T. Ali, et al., "A Reconfigurable Planar Antenna Array (RPAA) with
back lobe reduction," Lisbon, 2010.
A new reconfigurable of rectangular slots patch antenna
with operating frequencies in range (2-6) GHz was designed,
built and measured. It has been demonstrated with CST
simulation and experimental results that the antenna is useful