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Technique for measuring the dielectric constant of thin materials

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2 Author(s)
Sarabandi, K. ; Dept. of Electr. Eng. & Comput. Sci., Michigan Univ., Ann Arbor, MI, USA ; Ulaby, F.T.

A practical technique for measuring the dielectric constant of vegetation leaves and similarly thin materials is presented. A rectangular section of the leaf is placed in the transverse plane in rectangular waveguide, and the magnitude and phase of the reflection coefficient are measured over the desired frequency band using a vector network analyzer. By treating the leaf as an infinitesimally thin resistive sheet, an explicit expression for its dielectric constant is obtained in terms of the reflection coefficient. Because of the thin-sheet approximation, however, this approach is valid only at frequencies below 1.5 GHz. To extend the technique to higher frequencies, higher-order approximations are derived and their accuracies are compared to the exact dielectric-slab solution. For a material whose thickness is 0.5 mm or less, the proposed technique was found to provide accurate values of its dielectric constant up to frequencies of 12 GHz or higher

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Instrumentation and Measurement, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:37 ,  Issue: 4 )