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An effective development of a composite right-/left-handed (CRLH) leaky-wave (LW) structure for polarization-flexible antenna applications is presented. The proposed leaky transmission line (TL) is a planar passive circuit built using the substrate integrated waveguide technology. It consists of two symmetrical waveguide lines loaded with series interdigital capacitors which radiate orthogonal 45° linearly polarized waves. Its dispersion, Bloch impedance and radiation characteristics are extracted by applying a comprehensive analysis on the unit cell. Its backfire-to-endfire beam-steering capability through frequency scanning due to the CRLH nature is demonstrated and discussed. It is able to generate arbitrary different polarization states by changing the way of excitation, including linear polarization (LP) and circular polarization (CP). This leaky TL is fabricated by the standard printed-circuit board process. Two broadband couplers are also designed and fabricated for the specified excitation purpose. Six different polarization states, including four LP cases and two CP ones, are experimentally verified. The propagation and radiation parameters, including the S-parameters, radiation patterns, gain, and axial ratio (for CP states) are presented for these modes. Measured results are consistent with the simulation. The proposed LW structure shows some desirable merits, such as the simplicity in design, low-cost fabrication, and beam-steering and polarization-flexible capabilities, providing a high degree of flexibility for the real application.
Date of Publication: Feb. 2012