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# The Branch-Line Coupler

Murshed Alam, Donald Eastman, Jason McGraw, Wai Tung

Abstract— This paper describes a branch-line directional cou- pler with two branches which will be constructed in micro-strip. The effect of the T-junctions were investigated using Microwave Ofﬁce. The coupler is a four-port device with a four by four scattering matrix. A program was written using MathCAD to simulate the performance of the ideal two (N=2) branch- line directional coupler. The Microwave Ofﬁce simulation was compared to the mathematical results.

I. INTRODUCTION

T HE design of the branch line directional coupler will be constructed in micro-strip. The center frequency will be

5 GHz and the material used for design will be Rogers 4003 with the total board thickness of 1/16 inch and 1 ounce copper covered on both sides. Furthermore, MathCAD will be used to simulate the ideal directional coupler performance with two branch lines (N=2) using the chain parameter method. Fig. 2.

Response of Mathematical Circuit

II. MATHEMATICAL MODELING

The mathematical analysis was conducted using MathCAD 11 by Mathsoft Engineering and Education Inc. The branch coupler is a directional coupler with 3-dB of coupling which correspond to an output amplitude factor of 1/ 2. To obtain this power split, the series line section impedance must be Z 0 / 2 and the shunt line sections must be Z 0 . Using chain parameters and even-odd mode analysis, the scattering parameters of the branch line coupler were deter- mined. Details of the equations can be found in the appendix. For analysis purposes, the impedances were normalized. The ﬁrst matrix in the analysis was the shunt line section between port 1 and port 4. The second matrix would be the quarter wave transmission line with an impedance of 1/ 2. The third matrix would be the shunt between port 2 and port 3. Finally, the transmission matrix was converted to a scattering matrix. From the scattering matrix, the reﬂection coefﬁcient and transmission coefﬁcients were plotted in Figure 1 and Figure 2. Fig. 1.

Response of Mathematical Circuit

III. SIMULATION OF MATHEMATICAL CIRCUIT (IDEAL CIRCUIT)

The ideal circuit, based on the mathematical model, is

shown in Figure 3. Shunt line sections are 357.1 mils long

and 131.2 mils wide. Series line length is 348.4 and the width

for the 35.35section is 220.7 mils. It can be seen in Figure 4 that the performance is nearly identical to the predicted performance of the mathematical model. Fig. 3.

Response Curves of Ideal Circuit

IV. T-JUNCTIONS ADDED TO IDEAL CIRCUIT

As in Figure 5, the response of the circuit was centered near 4 GHz after the T-junctions are added. The response of the port 2 transmission was centered slightly higher than 4

2

GHz. The effects of the discontinuities from the junctions can also be noticed by the ripple in the transmission characteristics between port 1 and 3. The ideal circuit neglected the effects that the T-junctions have on the electrical length of each section. Also, the ideal circuit has no provisions for minimizing the discontinuities due to the change in line widths. Fig. 4.

Response Curves of Ideal Circuit with T-Junctions Fig. 5.

Response Curve of Final Circuit

Tapered sections were added between the Tjunctions and the series line sections to compensate for the discontinuities associated with the change in line widths between the 50and 35.35branches as suggested by . This had the effect of smoothing the response curve for the port 1 to port 3 transmission.

V. T-JUNCTION

One of the most important and frequently utilized compo- nents in microstrip design is the three port T-junction, which is used in many different products for impedance matching, ﬁlters, and branch line couplers.   However, it presents the designer with discontinuities that must be considered and compensated for. These discontinuities are most obvious in the resonant frequency of the branch line coupler as a shift downward in frequency by approximately one GHz as a result of placing the T-junctions into the ideal model in Microwave Ofﬁce. T-junction discontinuities are discussed in  and ﬁgures are provided with several different compensation methods, all of which depend on line widths, dielectric constant, and the substrate thickness. Additional signal attenuation occurs as a result of the discontinuities in the form of electromagnetic radiation and hence, additional compensation must be accom- plished to avoid interference with adjacent circuits. Microwave ofﬁce uses a model described by  in which Hammerstad describes an asymmetrical Tjunction that can be made symmetrical by making the line widths equal. Hammer- stad also suggests that the theoretical circuit model should be changed from earlier publications by placing transformers on the main line versus the shunt line.

VI. FINAL OPTIMIZED CIRCUIT SIMULATION

Based on the results from the circuit with added T-Junctions, the line section lengths were shortened. The shunt branches were shortened to 352.1 mils and the length of the series line sections including tapers were shortened to 248.0 mils. This shifted the center frequency to the design goal of 5 GHz.

VII. CONCLUSION

The mathematical response was very similar to the ideal cir- cuit response. However, the reﬂection co-efﬁcient was different due to losses in the circuit. After adding the T-Junction to the ideal circuit the response shifted to 4GHz from 5GHz and the return loss changed from 53dB to 25dB, because the microstrip line impedances are set for 5 GHz. The T-Junction is a very important component for microstrip design. It provides the designer with discontinuities that must be considered and compensated. Since our center frequency was mentioned as 5GHz our design goals was not satisﬁed with just adding the junctions. To achieve our design goal tapered sections were added between T-Junction and series line section. Then section lengths were shortened. The shunt branches were shortened including the length of the series line sections and tapers. This shifted our response to 5GHz and improved the return loss by approximately 2.5dB

REFERENCES  Pozar, David, Microwave Engineering, 3rd ed. Hoboken, New Jersey:

Wiley, 2005. Pages: 333 - 335  K.C. Gupta, Ramesh Garg, Inder Bahl, & Prakash Bhartia: Microstrip Lines and Slotlines Artech House, 1996 Page: 196 - 200



E.H. Fooks & R.A. Zakarevicius: Microwave engineering using microstrip

circuits Prentice Hall, 1990 Pages: 107 - 110  K.C. Gupta, Ramesh Garg, Inder Bahl, & Prakash Bhartia: Microstrip Lines and Slotlines Artech House, 1996 Page: 208 - 210  E.Hammerstad: Computer-Aided Design of Microstrip Couplers with Accurate Discontinuity Models Microwave Symposium Digest, MTT-S International, Vol.81, Iss.1, Jun 1981 Pages: 54 - 56

3 Fig. 6.

Schematic of Ideal Circuit

4 Fig. 7.

Schematic of Ideal Circuit with Added T-Junctions

5 Fig. 8.

Schematic of Final Circuit

6 Fig. 9.

Layout of Final Circuit

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APPENDIX I CALCULATION OF MATHEMATICAL MODEL USING 