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Renato Orta

Lecture Notes on Transmission Line Theory

November 2012

DEPARTMENT OF ELECTRONICS

AND

TELECOMMUNICATIONS

POLITECNICO DI TORINO

Contents

Contents

1

1 Transmission line equations and their solution

 

4

1.1 Introduction

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4

1.2 Electromagnetism background .

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5

1.3 Circuit model of a transmission line

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7

1.4 Lossless lines. Wave equations and their solutions

 

11

1.5 Review of Fourier transforms and phasors

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14

1.6 Transmission line equations in the frequency domain

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16

1.7 Propagation of the electric state and geometrical interpretations

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21

1.8 Solution of transmission line equations by the matrix technique

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23

2 Parameters of common transmission lines

 

27

2.1 Introduction

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27

Coaxial cable

2.2 .

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27

Two-wire line

2.3 .

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29

2.4 Wire on a metal plane

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30

2.5 Shielded two-wire line

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31

2.6 Stripline

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31

2.7 Microstrip .

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32

3 Lossless transmission line circuits

 

38

3.1 Introduction

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38

3.2 Definition of local impedance

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38

3.3 Reflection coefficients

 

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44

3.4 Energy balance

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46

3.5 Line voltage, current and impedance diagrams

 

47

3.6 The Smith Chart

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50

3.7 Analysis of simple circuits

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57

 

1

CONTENTS

4 Energy dissipation in transmission lines

 

61

4.1 Dielectric losses .

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61

4.2 Conductor losses

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62

4.3 Loss parameters of some transmission lines

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68

4.3.1 Coaxial cable

 

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68

4.3.2 Two-wire line .

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70

5 Lossy transmission line circuits

 

72

5.1 Solution of transmission line equations

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72

5.2 Computation of the power flow

 

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79

5.3 Frequency dependence of phase constant and characteristic impedance

 

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6 Matching circuits

84

6.1 Introduction

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84

6.2 Types of impedance matching

 

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84

6.3 Impedance matching devices .

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87

6.3.1 L cells with lumped reactive elements

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87

6.3.2 Resistive matching pad

 

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89

6.3.3 Single stub matching network .

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91

6.3.4 Double stub matching network

 

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96

6.3.5 λ/4 matching networks

 

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98

7 The Scattering matrix

 

101

7.1 Lumped circuits

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101

7.2 Distributed parameter circuits

 

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103

7.3 Relationship between [S] and [Z] or [Y ]

 

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104

7.4 Computation of the power dissipated in a device

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105

7.5 Properties of the scattering matrix [S] of a device

 

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7.6 Change of reference impedances

 

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106

7.7 Change of reference planes

 

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107

7.8 Cascade connection of structures

 

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108

7.9 Scattering matrix of some devices .

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112

7.9.1 Ideal attenuator

 

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112

7.9.2 Isolator

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112

7.9.3 Circulator .

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112

7.9.4 Ideal directional coupler

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113

7.10 Examples of analysis of structures described by S matrices

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114

2

CONTENTS

 

7.10.1 Cascade connection of a two-port and a load

 

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115

7.10.2 Interconnection of two two-ports by means of a length of transmission line .

116

7.10.3 Change of reference impedance for a one-port load

 

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117

7.11

Transmission matrix

 

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118

8

Time domain analysis of transmission lines

 

122

8.1 Introduction

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122

8.2 The group velocity

 

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123

8.3 Distortions

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127

8.4 Digital communication

 

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130

8.5 Mismatched ideal transmission lines

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131

8.5.1 General solution of transmission line equations

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131

8.5.2 Mismatched ideal lines .

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132

8.5.3 Real interconnections

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140

Bibliography

 

141

 

3

Chapter 1

Transmission line equations and their solution

1.1

Introduction

Electromagnetic energy, once generated in one place, has a natural tendency to spread in the whole space at a speed close to 300.000 Km/s. In telecommunications this behavior can be useful when the user position is not known in advance, as in a broadcasting system or in a cell phone network. In other applications, instead, electromagnetic energy must be transferred from one place to the other along a well defined path without any spreading at all: an example is the cabling of a building.

In the most general terms, a transmission line is a system of metal conductors and/or dielectric insulating media that is capable of “guiding” the energy transfer between a generator and a load, irrespective (at least with a good approximation) of the bends that the line undergoes because of installation needs. From this point of view, a one dimensional propagation phenomenon takes place on a transmission line.

There are many types of transmission lines, some examples of which are shown in Fig. 1.1. The various line types are used for different applications in specific frequency ranges. Striplines and microstrips are used only inside devices, such as amplifiers or filters, and their lengths never exceeds some centimeters. Twisted pairs and coaxial cables are used for cabling a building but coaxial cables can also be used for intercontinental communications. Hollow metal pipes, known as waveguides, are used to deliver large amounts of microwave power over short to moderate distance. Waveguides can also be made of dielectric materials only, as in the case of optical fibers. In this text we will deal only with structures consisting of two metal conductors, such as coaxial cables, microstrips and striplines. These can be defined transmission lines in strict sense, whereas the others are more appropriately called metal or dielectric waveguides. More rigorously, all the structures of Fig. 1.1 are waveguides, but those of the first type are characterized by the fact that their fundamental propagation mode is TEM (transverse electromagnetic) - or quasi-TEM in the case of microstrips - since they consist of two conductors. This implies that they can be used also at very low frequency - even at dc - irrespective of their size. Waveguides, in general, have a lowest frequency of operation, which depends on their transverse size. In conclusion, transmission lines are waveguides whose behaviour, at sufficiently low frequency, is related to the TEM mode only.

4

Renato Orta - Transmission Line Theory (Nov. 2012)

a
a
Renato Orta - Transmission Line Theory (Nov. 2012) a d b n 3 n 2 n

d

b
b
n 3 n 2 n 1 c
n 3
n 2
n 1
c
Transmission Line Theory (Nov. 2012) a d b n 3 n 2 n 1 c e

e

Figure 1.1.

fiber, (d) microstrip , (e) stripline.

Examples of transmission lines: (a) coaxial cable, (b) two wire line, (c) optical

1.2 Electromagnetism background

The physical phenomena that take place in a transmission line belong to the realm of electromag- netism and hence, from a quantitative point of view, they are completely described by four vector fields: the electric field E(r,t), the magnetic field H(r,t), the electric displacement (or electric induction) D(r,t) and the magnetic induction B(r,t). The relationships between these fields and the sources (described by the current density J (r,t)) are specified by Maxwell equations, that are written in MKSA units as

∇ × E(r,t)

=

t B(r,t)

t D(r,t) + J c (r,t) + J (r,t)

× H(r,t)

=

(1.1)

A general reference for electromagnetism is [1]. Let us review the meaning of the symbols and the relevant measurement units.

E(r,t)

electric field

V/m

H(r,t)

magnetic field

A/m

D(r,t)

electric induction

C/m 2

B(r,t)

magnetic induction

Wb/m 2

J (r,t)

current density (source)

A/m 2

J c (r,t)

(conduction) current density

[A/m 2 ]

These equations must be supplemented with the constitutive relations, that describe the link

5

Renato Orta - Transmission Line Theory (Nov. 2012)

between fields and inductions. The simplest case is that of free space in which

B(r,t)

D(r,t)

=

=

µ 0 H(r,t)

0 E(r,t)

(1.2)

where 0 , dielectric permittivity, and µ 0 magnetic permeability, have the values

µ 0

0

=

=

4π · 10 7

H/m

1

µ 0 c 2

1

36π · 10 9

F/m

where the speed of light in free space c has the value

c = 2.99792458 · 10 8

m/s.

Moreover, in the case of a plane wave, the ratio between the magnitudes of the electric and magnetic fields is called wave impedance and has the value

Z 0 = µ 0 0

120π 377

In the case of linear, isotropic, non dispersive dielectrics, the constitutive relations (1.2) are substituted by

where

B(r,t)

=

µ H(r,t)

 

(1.3)

D(r,t)

=

E(r,t)

µ

=

µ 0 µ r

=

0 r

and µ r , r (pure numbers) are the relative permittivity and permeabilities. All non ferromagnetic materials have values of µ r very close to 1.

When the dielectric contains free charges, the presence of an electric field E(r,t) gives rise to a conduction current density J c (r,t):