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Some MIMO applications require antennas to be closely spaced, which result in mutual coupling among antennas and high spatial correlation for signals. In order to compensate for the performance degradation due to correlation and coupling, impedance matching networks may be used. Recently, it was shown that uncoupled matching networks could be optimized against a given performance metric with the constraint of similar matching impedance for all antennas, i.e., balanced matching. In this paper, we investigate the use of uncoupled matching networks with both balanced and unbalanced load impedances, where either the received power or the channel capacity is optimized. For two- and three-element dipole arrays, we show numerically that a significant performance improvement can be achieved by introducing unbalanced matching. Observations suggest that the achieved improvement varies with array geometry and propagation environment. For example, a large capacity gain of up to 23% is realized when matching a uniform linear array to propagation environments that are asymmetrical about the array broadside, whereas the symmetrical environments do not benefit as much from unbalanced matching.
Date of Conference: 11-14 May 2008