MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) technology has been presented to significantly increase the wireless channel capacity and reliability without requiring additional radio spectrum or power. In MIMO systems, multiple antennas are mounted at both the transmitter and the receiver. When this technology is employed for a compact wireless terminal, one of the most challenging tasks is to reduce the high mutual coupling between closely placed antenna array elements. The high mutual coupling produces high correlation between antenna elements and affects the channel capacity of MIMO system. The objectives of this thesis are to design practical miniaturized structures to reduce high mutual coupling for small wireless terminals.
The research is conducted in the following areas. Initially, a PIFA design and two-element PIFA array are proposed and optimized to operate at 1.9GHz. A pair of two coupled quarter-wavelength linear slits is inserted in a compact ground plane, resulting in significant reduction of the mutual coupling across antenna operating frequency band. In order to take up less space on the ground plane, instead of the linear slits, miniaturized convoluted slits are implemented between the two closely placed PIFAs. Although the convoluted slits have small area and are positioned close to the edges of the ground plane, the miniaturized convoluted slit structures achieve a reduction of mutual coupling between antenna elements and succeed in reducing the effect of the human body (head and hand) to the antennas. In order to further reduce the size of the slits etched on the compact ground plane, a novel double-layer slit-patch EBG structure is proposed. It consists of a two-layer structure including conducting patches and aperture slits placed on either side of a very thin dielectric layer. They are placed in very close proximity to each other (55μm). A two-element printed CPW-fed monopole array operating around 2.46GHz and a two-element UWB planar monopole array operating from 3GHz to 6GHz have been employed to investigate the proposed slit-patch EBG structures. The optimized double-layer slit-patch EBG structure yields a significant reduction of the mutual coupling and produces the maximum miniaturization of antenna array. Another novel convoluted slit-patch EBG structure has been presented to reduce the mutual coupling between two PIFAs operating at 1.9GHz. These results demonstrate that the slit-patch EBG structure is a feasible technology to reduce the mutual coupling between multiple antennas for compact wireless terminals.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.