Effective immediately and for the foreseeable future, all scheduled thesis defences will be conducted remotely via videoconferencing using the Zoom software application at their already scheduled date and time.
When studying for a doctoral degree (PhD), candidates submit a thesis that provides a critical review of the current state of knowledge of the thesis subject as well as the student’s own contributions to the subject. The distinguishing criterion of doctoral graduate research is a significant and original contribution to knowledge.
Once accepted, the candidate presents the thesis orally. This oral exam is open to the public.
The evolution of the wireless communication systems to the future generation is accompanied by a huge improvement in the system performance through providing a high data rate with low latency. These systems require access to Millimeter Wave (mmWave) bands, which offer several advantages such as physically smaller components and much wider band width compared to microwave frequencies. However, mmWave components still need a significant improvement to follow the rapid variations in future technologies. Although mmWave frequencies can carry more data, they are limited in terms of their penetration capabilities and their coverage range. Moreover, these frequencies avoid deploying traditional guiding technologies such as microstrip lines due to high radiation and material losses. Hence, utilizing new guiding structure techniques such as Printed Ridge Gap Waveguide (PRGW) is essential in future mmWave systems implementation.
The main purpose of this thesis is to design mmWave components, antenna subsystems and utilize both in beam switching systems. The major mmWave components addressed in this thesis are hybrid coupler, crossover, and differential power divider where the host guiding structure is the PRGW. In addition, various designs for differential feeding PRGW antennas and antenna arrays are presented featuring wide bandwidth and high gain in mmWave band. Moreover, the integration of both the proposed components and the featured antennas is introduced. This can be considered as a significant step toward the requirements fulfillment of todays advanced communication systems enabling both space and polarization diversity. The proposed components are designed to meet the future ever-increasing consumer experience and technical requirements such as low loss, compact size, and low-cost fabrication. This directed the presented research to have a contribution into three major parts.
The first part highlights the feeding structures, where mmWave PRGW directional couplers and differential feeding power divider are designed and validated. These components are among the most important passive elements of microwave circuits used in antenna beam-switching networks. Different 3-dB quadrature hybrid couplers and crossover prototypes are proposed, featured with a compact size and a wide bandwidth beyond 10 % at 30 GHz.
In the second part, a beam switching network implemented using hybrid couplers is presented. The proposed beam switching network is a 4 × 4 PRGW Butler matrix that used to feed a Magneto-electric (ME) dipole antenna array. As a result, a 2-D scanning antenna array with a compact size, wide bandwidth, and high radiation efficiency larger than 84 % is achieved. Further gain enhancement of 5 dBi is achieved through deploying a hybrid gain enhancement technique including AMC mushroom shapes around the antenna array with a dielectric superstrate located in the broadside direction. The proposed scanning antenna array can be considered as a step toward the desired improvement in the data rate and coverage through enabling the space diversity for the communication link.
The final activity is related to the development of high-gain wide-band mmWave antenna arrays for potential use in future mmWave applications. The first proposed configuration is a differential feeding circular polarized aperture antenna array implemented with PRGW technology. Differential feeding antenna designs offer more advantages than single-ended antennas for mmWave communications as they are easy to be integrated with differential mmWave monolithic ICs that have high common-mode rejection ratio providing an immunity of the environmental noise. The proposed differential feeding antenna array is designed and fabricated, which featured with a stable high gain and a high radiation efficiency over a wide bandwidth. Another proposed configuration is a dual-polarized Magnetoelectric (ME) dipole PRGW antenna array for mmWave wireless communication. Dual polarization is considered one of the most important antenna solutions that can save costs and space for modern communication systems. In addition, it is an effective strategy for multiple-input and multiple-output systems that can reduce the size of multiple antennas systems by utilizing extra orthogonal polarization. The proposed dual- polarized antenna array is designed to achieve a stable gain of 15 ±1 dBi with low cross- polarization less than -30 dB over a wide frequency range of 20 % at 30 GHz.