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We show how resonators composed of negative permittivity materials can form the basis of effective small antenna elements. A quasi-static analysis of the resonant properties of a sub-wavelength negative permittivity sphere predicts that such a resonator will have a Q-factor that is only 1.5 times the Chu limit, matching the performance of other known electrically small spherical antenna designs, such as the folded spherical helix and the spherical capped dipole. Finite element simulation is used to demonstrate an impedance-matched radiating structure formed by coupling the resonator (a half-sphere above a ground plane) to a 50 ohm coaxial transmission line, where the coupling is mediated by a small conducting stub extending partially into the half-sphere. The resulting antenna has a ka<0.5, and its bandwidth and efficiency performance corresponds well to that predicted by the quasi-static analysis of the resonator.
Date of Publication: June 2006