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A compact stair-shaped dielectric resonator antenna (DRA) is designed and fabricated for microwave breast cancer detection. A quarter-wavelength choke was incorporated to reduce the finite ground plane size. A more than 40% return loss of 10 dB centred at 6.5 GHz is achieved with a 50 Omega coaxial port. Parametric studies are carried out to provide practical insights into sensor design. The design is performed numerically and confirmed experimentally. A simple model for the tissue is considered and the interaction of the sensor with the tissue is investigated. Good matching is retained without adding any matching medium or lumped loads when the sensor is in contact with the tissue. A two-element sensor array is investigated numerically. A dipole antenna and a circular ultra-wideband dipole antenna are compared with the stair-shaped DRA with a choked ground plane. Preliminary results are obtained for the cases with different tumour locations. The DRA type of sensor reveals good potential for frequency-domain detection.
Date of Publication: June 2009