The design and fabrication of miniature microwave bandpass filters using multilayer liquid crystal polymer technology
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This thesis presents the design and fabrication techniques for miniature microwave bandpass filters using multilayer liquid crystal polymer (LCP) technology. As a multilayer technology for microwave devices, LCP is of low cost and light weight. It also has excellent electrical properties across a wide frequency range. These characteristics make it promising for the development of next generation microwave devices for applications across commercial, defence and civil sectors. However, very limited work has been found in the open literature to apply this technology to the design of miniature bandpass filters, especially at low microwave frequencies. In addition, the reported work shows lack of fabrication techniques, which limits the size reduction of multilayer LCP devices. To address these problems, this thesis develops advanced fabrication techniques for sophisticated LCP structures, such as multilayer capacitors, via connections and cavities. These techniques are then used to support the design of novel miniature bandpass filters for wideband and narrowband applications. For the design of miniature wideband bandpass filters, a cascaded approach, which combines highpass and lowpass filters, is presented first to provide a flexible design solution. This is followed by another novel ultra-wideband bandpass filter which produces extra transmission zeroes with minimum number of elements. It does not only have high performance but also a compact structure for high yield fabrication. For narrowband applications, two types of advanced coupled-resonator filters are developed. One type produces a very good selectivity at the upper passband edge, and its spurious-free stopband is extremely wide and of high interference attenuation. The other type, based on novel mixed-couplings approaches developed in this thesis, provides a solution to produce almost the same response as the coupling matrix prototype. This type is used to generate arbitrarily-located transmission zeroes. All designs presented in this thesis are simulated using CAD design tools and then validated by measurements of fabricated samples. Good agreements between simulations and measurements are shown in the thesis.