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“Advanced Microstrip

Antennas”
Antennas Design Using
HFSS Software
1
Dr. Yogesh Kumar Choukiker
HFSS Design Manual
1. Start by opening HFSS, a new project will be created
automatically. Insert a design file by selecting Project > Insert
HFSS Design.

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HFSS Design Manual
2. A design file will be added to the project tree (named Project3
and HFSSDesign1 respectively by default) and now we can
begin modeling. We can rename the project/design files by
single-clicking the name in the project tree.

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HFSS Design Manual
3. Objective and Parameters
a) For this design, we will target the 2.4-2.48 GHz Wi-Fi band as
the target frequency. Let us also choose our substrate material to
be FR-4 (εr = 4.4).
b) For this first patch, we will feed the patch using an inset-fed
microstrip transmission line with a lumped port excitation. Other
ways to feed the patch would be to use a quarter-wave
transformer, aperture coupling, or coaxial excitation.
c) Lumped port excitations are ideal feeds with an impedance of 50
ohms. We will be begin by creating the substrate for which the
patch will be on.
d) Create a rectangular box in the modeling window. We'll create a
substrate with dimensions λ x λ, at free space wavelength, λ is
3e8/2.4e9 which is 125 mm. We want select the Draw box icon
and create a rectangle to create our substrate 4

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HFSS Design Manual
4. By using the rotate icon (highlighted in red, it looks like 2 rotating arrows)
and double-clicking (click the general area to want to rotate your view to)
we can get an overhead view, we will know this when the z-axis is directed
out of the page. Create your box, the dimensions of the box are arbitrary for
now since we will edit the dimensions later.

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HFSS Design Manual
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The box will appear in the modeling tree. By double-clicking the feature named CreateBox

HFSS Design Manual


under Box1 in unassigned, we can edit the dimensions. Input the dimensions, (125 mm x 125
mm in the x and y direction, and give a z dimension of 1.6 mm for our substrate thickness. We
can center the box by making the position half of the dimensions we input in the other
direction. We are able to use basic math operands in this editing window such as addition (+),
subtraction (-), multiplication (*), and division (/). I could have input -62.5 mm but I used -
125/2. This position refers to the top left corner of the box, this position would center our box

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Now our substrate is created, as you can see the box was centered as the z-axis is pointing

HFSS Design Manual


through the center of the box after inputting our dimensions and box location. You can
zoom out to view the whole design by clicking the magnifying glass icon, which fits all
objects into view.

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Lets assign the substrate a material property. At this point it is considered a vacuum. Right

HFSS Design Manual


click the object named Box1 in the modeling tree. This will open a box where you can
select a material in the HFSS database or even add your own materials if it is not in the
database. I searched for "fr" in the box and it found the material right away. Hit ok and the
box will have the electromagnetic properties of FR-4 material.

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For organization and easier viewing, we can re-name this object. We can also change the

HFSS Design Manual


color of the box and the transparency. It is good practice to give every object some
transparency so we can see through them. Sometimes when a lot of objects are involved it
is easier to see if there is a modeling error or to find an object easier by essentially "color
coding" all of your parts. To do this double-click Box1 in the modeling tree. This opens
up the following dialogue box. In this case, I renamed Box1 to Substrate, I changed the
transparency to 0.5, and changed the substrate color to teal.

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HFSS Design Manual
Now let's create a patch on top of the substrate. We will place the patch at the
center of the material, which will be easy if we input the dimensions the same
way as we created the box. It is the same as making a box but we select
"Draw rectangle" as it will not have depth, it is only a sheet of copper on the
substrate. You can use formulas to determine the size of the patch by hand or
you can use software like PCAAD to determine the patch size. The patch has
dimensions of 28.95 mm x 37.412 mm for the resonant frequency to be 2.44
GHz. I gave the patch an orange color and renamed it. The way I input the
dimensions can be seen in the image below. We also need to assign the patch
a material as it is unassigned. I right-clicked Patch and assigned the boundary
condition "Perfect E" since it is a conductor, Perfect E will simulate much
faster and give it a property close to copper.

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HFSS Design Manual
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Rotate your model so that the z-axis goes into the page and place a ground plane across

HFSS Design Manual


the bottom of the substrate. I just selected create rectangle and selected two opposite
corners of the substrate in the model. I also assigned this as Perfect E. I renamed it GND
and changed the color to yellow.

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Now we need to feed our design. The width of a 50 ohm microstrip transmission line on

HFSS Design Manual


1.6 mm thick FR-4 substrate at 2.44 GHz is 3.02 mm. I placed a rectangle of this size at
the center of the patch. The line has a width of 3.02 oriented along the y-axis and placed it
at the center of the substrate into the patch. Using the equation to find the 50 ohm feed
point of the patch (x = (Length/pi)*(arcsin(sqrt(50/196)) I found the inset-length to be
4.8791 mm from the center. I let the transmission line extend to the edge of the substrate.
The dimensions can be found in the screenshot below.

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We need to cut away some of the patch on the sides of the transmission line. I placed the

HFSS Design Manual


rectangles on the sides of the feed line to have a width of 1 mm. The rectangles have a
length of 9.5959 mm.

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We can subtract the rectangles away from the patch now. Ctrl+Click the parts you want

HFSS Design Manual


to do the operation with. In this case it is Patch, Rectangle 1 and Rectangle 2. Then click
the substract icon. A window will pop up showing which parts to want to keep (blank
parts) and parts you want to substract away from the blank parts (tool parts). Hit ok and
he operation will be done.

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Now let us create the lumped port excitation. Switch to a side view at the end of the

HFSS Design Manual


transmission line. You'll want to switch your axes to YZ since we are now in the Y-Z
plane. Create a rectangle of the same width (3.02) at the edge of the transmission line
with a height of 1.6 mm.

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Right click the rectangle and select Assign Excitation > Lumped Port. At the next window

HFSS Design Manual


we want a 50 ohm port so click okay. Then we need to assign a new integration line.

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Draw a line across the middle of the lumped port from the ground plane to the

HFSS Design Manual


transmission line.

Now the integration line is defined. Hit next and then at the
final screen hit Finish. Renormalize to 50 ohms should be
selected.
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Now we need to make an air or vacuum radiation boundary box around the design for

HFSS Design Manual


HFSS to solve. Switch back to a top view and switch back to the XY plane. Make a box
around the design. In general, we make a box around the design with the following
dimensions as a rule of thumb: λ/4 around the design at non-radiating sides, λ/2 at
radiating sides. Since it is a patch antenna, it has a directional pattern. I'll assign the box to
be λ/2 length from the top of the substrate and λ/4 from the substrate on all other sides.
The dimensions I used for the box are found in the screenshot below.

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For my radiation box, I like to display the box as a wireframe so I can see my design.

HFSS Design Manual


Double click Box1 and check the box which reads "Display Wireframe".

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Give the box a radiation boundary by right-clicking Box1 in the model tree. Then select

HFSS Design Manual


Assign Boundary > Radiation. Hit ok.

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In the project tree, right-click Radiation and Insert Far Field Setup > Infinite Sphere.

HFSS Design Manual


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In the following window, you can choose what angles to plot the far field

HFSS Design Manual


radiation patterns at. I have theta sweep from -180 to 180 degrees in 5 degree
steps.

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Assign a meshing criteria to all objects. Select all objects and right-click the design.

HFSS Design Manual


Select Assign Mesh Operation > On Selection > Length Based. Alternatively you can
select the radiation box and assign Mesh Operation > Inside Selection > Length Based.
Either way works.

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Select your meshing length to be λ/10 or 12.5 mm. We restrict the number of elements to

HFSS Design Manual


10,000. This is to save simulation time. You can select a finer mesh by creating a smaller
length but λ/10 provides an accurate simulation as a rule of thumb. Note: If your
efficiency shows over 100% efficiency you need to choose a finer meshing length for
example λ/12 or λ/16 for more accurate simulations but it will take more time to simulate.

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Now we need to set up an analysis. Right-click analysis in the project tree and Add

HFSS Design Manual


Solution Setup.

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At the next window, set the solution frequency to be the center frequency of your sweep.

HFSS Design Manual


We'll run this simulation from 2 GHz to 3 GHz. So I set the solution frequency to 2.5
GHz. I also set the maximum number of passes to 20. Note: If the simulator takes too
long on the adaptive pass and approaches this number, you should consider aborting the
simulation and looking for modeling or simulation errors.

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Now right-click Setup under Analysis in the project tree and Add Frequency Sweep.

HFSS Design Manual


From here we can set which frequencies we want to run our simulation at.

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I have the simulation set from 2 to 3 GHz in 0.05 GHz steps. Linear step, Discrete

HFSS Design Manual


Sweep. Make sure you save All Fields so you can view the radiation patterns. Hitting
display will show what frequencies the simulation will solve for.

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Validate your design by hitting the check mark button. This will check if there are any

HFSS Design Manual


major errors before simulation. There can still be small errors but it looks like everything
checks out, if there are errors it will show on the bottom window. Save your design and
hit Analyze All (the ! button).

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To see your results, right-click Results in the Project Tree. To see S-Parameter Results

HFSS Design Manual


go to Create Modal Solution Data Report > Rectangular Plot. Then Plot S(1,1).

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HFSS Design Manual
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HFSS Design Manual
You can place markers on the plots by right-clicking the plot. Select Marker > Add
Marker and click the point where you want to see the value. As we can see the S11
parameter is less than -10 dB from about 2.409 GHz to 2.47 GHz which almost
covers the whole band we targeted, which is not bad for a starting point coming off
rough hand calculations. With some small tweaks to the size of the slots next to the
transmission line or the patch we may get a wider bandwidth. But, for an example
this is good. The plot shows a lot of peaks because I only ran the sweep at 0.05 GHz
points. For a smoother plot, choose a smaller step size like 0.01 GHz. But, I chose
0.05 GHz to save simulation time and to get a rough simulation.

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HFSS Design Manual
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To see radiation patterns, select Create Far Field Report > Radiation Pattern.

HFSS Design Manual


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HFSS Design Manual
Choose Setup1: Sweep. Realized Gain Phi and Theta in dB. Select the Families Tab and
select the Phi = 0, 90 degree cuts. Then select the frequency at which you want to plot
the radiation pattern, I selected 2.45 GHz. Then generate a new report.

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HFSS Design Manual
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The radiation pattern at 2.45 GHz shows a relatively directional pattern. There is good

HFSS Design Manual


separation between co-pol and x-pols. The gain at 0 degrees is about 3.5072 according
to simulation. You can also right-click the plot and export the data if you want to lay it
over other plots for comparison. Double-clicking the axis will let us alter the scale.
Double-clicking different elements in the legend will let us alter the colors and widths of
the lines. You can use dotted lines or other types of lines to better illustrate your plots for
papers, reports, or presentations.

Radiation Pattern 2.45 GHz Inset-Fed Microstrip Patch - 2.4 GHz ANSOFT

0
Name Theta Ang Mag
m1 0.0000 0.0000 3.5072 -30 m1 30
0.00

-20.00 Curve Info


-60 60 dB(RealizedGainPhi)
Setup1 : Sweep
-40.00 Freq='2.45GHz' Phi='0deg'
dB(RealizedGainPhi)
-60.00 Setup1 : Sweep
Freq='2.45GHz' Phi='90deg'
dB(RealizedGainTheta)
-90 90 Setup1 : Sweep
Freq='2.45GHz' Phi='0deg'
dB(RealizedGainTheta)
Setup1 : Sweep
Freq='2.45GHz' Phi='90deg'

-120 120

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-150 150
-180

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HFSS Design Manual
THANK YOU

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