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Multi-band Bowtie Antenna Based on Fractal Geometry

Yiftah Gelman', Ehud BerrAri and Reuven Shavit

Electrical and Computer Engineering Depariment, B e ~ G u r i o nUniversityof the
NC~CV Beer-Shew
, 84105, ISRAEL


The expansion of the wireless communication market is driving the increasing

demand for low-profile multi-band antennas for a large variety of applications in
personal and satellite communication systems. Most of the existing printed antennas
designs operate at one or double frequencies while the demand is for versatile multi
frequency antennas operational in GSM, GPS, UMTS and Bluetoathapplications. The
nahre of the fractal geometry applied in antenna designs offer hvo major advantages:
design of operational small scaled antennas [I]and multifrequency operation [2]. As
such it is appealing to use fractal geometries in multbfrequency applications. The
major drawback in a straight-fonvard application of fractal geometly in antenna
design is the lack of flexibility in the mntrol ofthe operational frequencies. Usually,
the operational frequencies are determined by the type of fractal used in the design.
In this paper, we present a novel algorithm based on fractal geometry flexible enough
to control the location of the required operational frequencies. The algorithm is
applied to the design of a bowtie antenna to operate in four arbitraly frequencies. The
simulations are performed with the Antenna Designer commercial s o h a r e from
HFSS. Results of the antenna radiation characteristics are presented.


The antenna chosen to demonstrate the efficiency of the algorithm is a printed

bowtie [3] dipole and the fractal used to obtain the multiband effect is the Yd order
Sierpinski [4], [ 5 ] fractal geometry as shown in Fig. I. The bowiie dipole is a wide
bandwidth element, which makes it a good candidate for multiband design. The
bowtie dipole is printed on both sides of a dielectric substrate.

Fig. I-Bowtie dipole (a) basic geometry, (b) Sierpinski 3'* order fractal geometry
The antenna is excited with a balanced feed. The initial length of the antenna is
determined by the desired lowest OpC~tioMlfrequency. At this frequency the dipole
length is approximately hI2. Using a standard Sierpinski fractal the dipole resonates at

02004 IEEE 3441

frequencies determined approximately by the ratio 2' in which n, is the fractal order.
In many cases this limitation is not acceptable and an arbitraly frequency location is
required, To circumvent this limitation and be able to obtain a mukcband design with
arbitraly frequency locations, it is suggested to control the fractal parameters (the
triangular dimensions and angles) in an iterative fashion The number of the required
operating frequencies determines the Sierpinski fractal order used for the design As a
test case, the Sierpinski fractal 31d order embedded in the bowtie dipole was chosen
and is shown in Fig. lb. In this case the dipole resonates in 4 frequencies. The
dimension, 1 (i=1+4) affects the dipole performance at the Ih operational frequency in
which i=4 corresponds to the lowest frequency. The initial value of the lengths, k is
set to be approximately Ail2 at the corresponding frequency f. These lengths are
independently vaned to match the ratio between adjacent operational frequencies.
Finally the largest length I, is varied to obtain resonance at the lowest required
operational frequency. This final scaling is necessary, since the increase of the fractal
order lowers the hasic resonance frequency of the antenna. All other dimensions of
the fractal geometly are scaled correspondingly.


A bowtie with four operating frequencies have been chosen as a test case to
demonstrate the efficiency of the algonthm. The required frequencies are: 915 MHr,
1575 MHz, 1750 MHz and 2450 MHz. The dielectric substrate used in the design is
R04003 with electrical properties (~.=3.38, tanS=0.0027) and thickness 1.5 mm. The
bowtie dipole is printed on both sides of the substrate. The apex angle of the dipole
was chosen to be 90' to ascenain maximum bandwidth ofthe basic stmcmre based an
a parameter shldy conducted pnor to the multiband design. Moreover, a large apex
angle enables more flexibility in the variation of the fractal geometly to match the
perfomacce of the antenna to the desired frequencies. Fig. 2 shows the final
geometly of a 3'' order Sierpinski fractal geometry implemented to obtain resonance
at 4 frcquencies.
.. ,

1:ig 2- Bowtie dipole with the optimized 3" order Sierpinski fractal geometry

Fig. 3 shows the surface current distributionon the dipole at the desired frequencies.

3. f=1.802 G H r 4.f=2.472 FHz

Fig.3- The current distribution on the multkhand howtie dipole.

It can he noticed that the increase in the resonance frequency reduces the active region
of the dipole as expected. Fig. 4 shows the frequency dependence of the input
impedance (real and imaginary) of the optimized fractal howtie dipole compared to a
ndard bowtie dipole with the same dimensions.

(a) oprimizcd bowtie (b) sfandard bowlie

Fig. 4- The optimized and standard bowtie input impedance.

One can ohserve resonance at the 4 required frequencies in the fractal bowtie
dipole compared to two resonances in the standard bowtie dipole. The maximum
impedance is obtained at the lowest frequency and it decreases for higher frequencies.
Fig. 5 showa the copol and xpol radiation pattern of the dipole in the E plane (@=9O0)
at the 4 desired frequencies. It can te observed that for all frequencies a very nice

defined panern is obtained. The level of xpol increases as the resonant frequency
increases due to additional transverse currents as exhibited in the current plot (Fig. 3).

I.f=9IOMHz I 2. e1.577 GHz

... I
3. +I 802 G H ~ 4. e2.472 GHz
Fig. 5- Copol and Xpol radiation pattems in E plane ($=90).

A navel aleorithm based on Seminski fractal eeometly for multiband antenna
operation w a I developed. The algohthm is flexibleenoughto control the location of
the required operational frequencies. The design of a 4 frequency bowtie antenna was
chosen as a test case. The simulation results demonstrate the algorithm efficiency to
obtain resonance in four arbitrary frequency bands. The algorithm is general and can
be extended to deliver designs for larger number of frequency bands.

.. J. Gianvinono. Y. Rahmat-Samii. Fractal Antennas: A Novel Antenna
Miniaturization Technique, and Applications, IEEE Annenas & Propagation
~ a g .2002,
, VOI. 44, NO. I, pp. 20-36
[2] D.H. Werner, P.L. Werner, Frequency independent Feauhlrcs of Self-Similar
Fractal Antennas, Radio Science, 1996, Vol. 31, No. 6, pp. 1331-1343
[3] Y.D. Lin and S.N. Tsai, Yoplarer Waveguide-Fed Uniplanar B o w T k Antenna,
IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation, 1997, Vol. 45, pp. 305-306
[41 C. Puente, J. Romeu, R. POUS,X. Garcia, F. Benitez, Fractal Multiband Antenna
Based on the Sierpinski Gasket, Electronics Letters, 1996, Vol. 32, No. 1, pp.1-2
[5] C. Puente-Baliarda, 1. Rome, R. POUS, A. Card, On the Behavior of
the Sierpinski Multiband Fractal Antenna, IEEE Transactions on Antennas
and Propagation, 1998, Vol. 46, No. 4, pp. 517-524