Investigation of an optically induced superstrate plasma for tuning microstrip antennas

Chris D. Gamlath, Michael A. Collett, Weiran Pang, David M. Benton, Martin J. Cryan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Optically induced electron-hole plasmas in silicon are used to perform radiation pattern tuning. The antenna is a slot loaded microstrip patch and the effect of illumination is shown to produce beam switching in the radiation patterns of certain modes while other modes are left unaffected. The structure is specifically designed to make the best use of currently available miniature laser sources to form a compact tunable package. Modelled and measured results for tuning of the radiation patterns and frequency response are presented. The effect of the losses incurred by the plasma along with the losses in the optically transparent ground plane are quantified in both simulation and measurement. This forms the basis for designing other types of optically tunable miniature antennas based on the structure presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)230-236
Number of pages7
JournalIET Optoelectronics
Issue number6
Early online date28 Sept 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2017

Bibliographical note

© The Institution of Engineering and Technology 2017, © 2017 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. Permission from IEEE must be obtained for all other uses, in any current or future media, including reprinting/republishing this material for advertising or promotional purposes, creating new collective works, for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or reuse of any copyrighted component of this work in other works.

Funding: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).


  • microstrip antennas, silicon, slot antennas


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