Tunable metamaterial transmission lines based on varactor-loaded split-ring resonators

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In this paper, it is demonstrated that varactor-loaded split-ring resonators (VLSRRs) coupled to microstrip lines can lead to metamaterial transmission lines with tuning capability. Both negative permeability (μ < 0) and double (or left-handed) negative media have been designed and fabricated with tuning ranges as wide as 30%. The negative effective permeability is provided by the VLSRRs in a narrow band above their resonant frequency, which can be bias controlled by virtue of the presence of diode varactors. To achieve a negative effective permittivity in the left-handed structure, metallic vias emulating shunt inductances are periodically placed between the conductor strip and the ground plane. The lumped-element equivalent-circuit models of the designed structures have been derived. It has been found that these models provide a good qualitative description of device performance. Since the VLSRR microstrip line and the line loaded with both VLSRRs and vias exhibit stopband and bandpass behavior, respectively, the ideas presented in this study can be applied to the design of narrowband tunable frequency-selective structures with compact dimensions. This is the first time that a tunable left-handed transmission line, based on SRRs, is proposed. © 2006 IEEE.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2665-2674
JournalIEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2006


  • Metamaterials
  • Microstrip technology
  • Split-ring resonators (SRRs)
  • Tunable devices


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