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T-section dual-band impedance transformer

for frequency-dependent complex

impedance loads
M.A. Nikravan and Z. Atlasbaf
A simple and successful design for matching complex impedance loads
with different values at two different frequencies is presented. The
explicit closed-form equations for the transformer parameters are
derived analytically. The validity of the proposed design is veried
by a numerical example of designing the input matching network of
an amplier.

Introduction: Impedance transformers are basic building blocks of

many RF/microwave circuits. The growing trend towards dual-band
products has increased the demand for dual-band impedance transformers. A small dual-frequency transformer was introduced in [1] in
which a real impedance load is matched to a real impedance source
using two equal length series sections. An L-type impedance transformer is also reported for the same purpose in [2]. The problem of matching frequency-dependent complex impedances was rst discussed in [3]
where the impedances were assumed to be unequal in both frequencies.
A three-section impedance transformer is proposed in [4] to deal with
this problem. The proposed transformer matches a load with different
complex impedances at two frequencies to a real impedance source.
Also, this case is studied in [5] in which four sections are used to
achieve matching. In a more general problem, [6] discusses the situation
where both source and load impedances are complex and frequencydependent.
In this Letter, we propose a new approach to match a frequencydependent complex impedance load to a real impedance source at two
arbitrary frequencies by using T-section transmission lines. Analytical
closed-form equations are derived and a matching network is designed
using these equations.

ZL1 at f 1



ZL2 at f 2


1 Za + jZ0 tan(ua )

Za Z0 + jZa tan(ua )

in which ua = ua1 = ba1 La and ua = ua2 = ba2 La at the rst and

second frequency bands, respectively. Since Z0 and Za are both real,
Yleft |f 1 = Yleft |f 2 if
tan(ua1 ) = tan(ua2 )
and bearing in mind that ua2 /ua1 = f2 /f1 = m, we conclude that
ua1 =

Fig. 1 Proposed T-section transformer

Transformer structure and analysis: The proposed T-section impedance transformer is shown in Fig. 1. Depending on the load and
source impedances, an open or shorted stub can be used to maintain
the size of the transformer minimum. ZL1 RL1 + jXL1 and ZL2
RL2 + jXL2 are the load impedances at the two design frequencies,
namely f1 and f2. Left, down and right sections of the transformer
have characteristic impedances and lengths of Za , La , Zb , Lb , Zc and
Lc , respectively. Yright , Yleft and Ydown are the input admittances
looking from the common node towards right, left and down, respectively. The key idea is to conjugate match these admittances at both frequencies. It will be shown that design equations could be derived in
closed-form easily, if Yright |f 1 = Yright |f 2 , Yleft |f 1 = Yleft |f 2 and
Ydown |f 1 = Ydown |f 2 , which means conjugated relationship between
the two values. Let us start with Zright = 1/Yright which is shown in
[4] to be conjugate at two frequencies if

XL1 + XL2
(RL1 XL2 RL2 XL1 )
Zc = RL1 RL2 + XL1 XL2 +
Zc (RL1 RL2 )
(m + 1)bc1



and hence
La =

(1 + m)ba1


On the other hand, we have made Yright |f 1 = Yright |f2 earlier, which
means the real parts of Yright at two frequencies are equal and the imaginary parts are opposite in sign. Since the input impedance of an
open or shorted stub does not have any real part, in order to satisfy
the conjugate matching condition at the common node, the real part of
Yleft should be equal to the real part of Yright at two frequencies, i.e.
Gleft = Gright


where Gleft and Gright are the real parts of Yleft and Yright , respectively.
Using (3), (7) can be written as
Za Z0 + Z0 Za tan2 (ua )
= Gright
Za (Z02 + Za2 tan2 (ua )
Solving for Za results in

Z0 (1 Z0 Gright + tan2 (ua ))
Za =
Gright tan2 (ua )

Ydown = j(Bright + Bleft )




The shunt stub should cancel out all imaginary impedances at the
common node, i.e.

open or

np + arctan
Lc =

Yleft =

The only remaining section to design is the open or shorted shunt stub.
Ydown can be written as

+j tan(ub )/Zb , open stub
Ydown =
j cot(ub )/Zb , shorted stub




Yleft can be written as


in which bc1 = uc /Lc is the propagation constant of the transmission

line at the rst frequency f1. Second to rst frequency ratio is denoted
by m, i.e. m = f2 /f1 . n is an arbitrary integer that should be chosen
minimum, while the transformer is easy to fabricate.


in which Bright and Bleft are the imaginary parts of Yright and Yleft , respectively. Obviously, in order to maintain the size of the stub minimum, i.e.
0 , ub , p/2; if (Bright + Bleft) , 0, then Ydown . 0 and we should use
an open stub. On the other hand, if (Bright + Bleft) . 0, then a shorted
stub should be used. Therefore, regardless of what type the stub is, its
electrical and physical lengths can be calculated by
ub1 =
Lb =
(1 + m)bb1
Derivation of these equations has been discussed in the design of the
left-hand section of the transformer. Using (10) and (11), Zb can be
written as

tan(ub )

, open stub
right + Bleft )
Zb =
cot(ub )

, shorted stub
(Bright + Bleft )
If Zb obtained by this formula is not feasible to fabricate, one can easily
double ub and use the opposite kind of stub.
Numerical example: To verify the validity of the proposed transformer
and design equations, we designed and studied the input matching
network of an amplier. For this purpose, an ATF-33143 transistor
was chosen, which has scattering parameters available up to 18 GHz
[7]. From calculations, this transistor is absolutely stable above about
5 GHz. Thus, for simplicity, we designed our amplier above 6 GHz
where conjugate impedance matching could be applied for maximum

ELECTRONICS LETTERS 28th April 2011 Vol. 47 No. 9

gain [8]. The required source impedance for conjugate impedance

matching of the amplier is calculated and plotted in Fig. 2 in which
Zs R + jX. Let us consider three design cases, namely A, B and C,
which have a rst band at 6 GHz and second band at 8, 10, and
12 GHz, respectively. T-section transformer parameters are tabulated
in Table 1. It should be mentioned that in case A, however, the
minimum length is obtained by a shorted stub, the required characteristic
impedance for a shorted stub is extremely low and we decided to double
the length of the stub and use an open stub instead. Fig. 3 shows the
simulated return loss responses using AWR Microwave Ofce
package. As can be seen, there is good matching at the designated frequencies, which veries the validity of the proposed solution.

Acknowledgment: The authors thank the Iran Telecommunication

Research Center for supporting this work under contract T/18130/500.
# The Institution of Engineering and Technology 2011
2 December 2010
doi: 10.1049/el.2010.7452
One or more of the Figures in this Letter are available in colour online.
M.A. Nikravan and Z. Atlasbaf (Faculty of Electrical and Computer
Engineering, Tarbiat Modares University, Nasr Bridge, Tehran, Iran)



Conclusion: A T-section dual-band transformer is proposed to match a

frequency-dependent impedance load. Design equations are derived in
closed-form and three input matching networks are designed for three
ampliers with different frequency bands. The simulated responses veried the validity of the design.


E-mail: atlasbaf@modares.ac.ir


frequency, GHz




Fig. 2 Required source impedance for conjugate matching of amplier

Table 1: Transformer parameters for three design cases

f2 ,
f1 ,
Case GHz GHz Za , V ua , deg Zb , V ub , deg Zc , V uc , deg type
196.6 Open










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|S11|, dB

case A
case B
case C


frequency, GHz


Fig. 3 Simulated return loss of matching network

ELECTRONICS LETTERS 28th April 2011 Vol. 47 No. 9