Flexible and Printable Phase Shifter with Polymer Actuator for 12-GHz Band

Fumio SATO
Kentaro YAZAWA
Takao KUKI

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Electronics   Vol.E101-C    No.10    pp.767-774
Publication Date: 2018/10/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1353
DOI: 10.1587/transele.E101.C.767
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Section on Microwave and Millimeter-Wave Technologies)
phased array antenna,  phase shifter,  3dB,  90° hybrid coupler,  polymer actuator,  ionic liquid,  microstrip line,  insertion loss,  

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The authors have proposed a new type of flexible and printable 12GHz-band phase shifter using polymer actuator for the first time. Polymer bending actuator was used as a termination device of a reflection-type 3-dB, 90° hybrid coupler as the phase-shift control unit which controls the electrical length of the waveguide for microwave signals by the applied bias voltage. The microstrip line circuit of the device has been fabricated using low-cost screen printing method. Polymer bending actuator having three-layer stacking structure, in which an ionic liquid electrolyte layer is sandwiched with two conductive network composite layers, was formed by wet processes. The authors have confirmed that the phase shift could be controlled in analog by low driving voltages of 2-7 V for the actuator with a insertion loss of 2.73 dB. This phase shifter can be integrated with flexible patch antenna and the current flexible polymer electronics devices such as transistors.