Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Electrical Engineering

Major Professor

Thomas Weller


loop antenna, miniaturization techniques, thermal modeling, Three dimensional miniaturization, ultra-wideband antennas


Historical, well developed, procedures for RF design have minimal emphasis on exploring the third dimension due to the difficulty of fabrication. Recent material advancements applicable to 3D printing have brought about low-loss thermoplastics with excellent mechanical properties. Research into depositing conductive inks onto arbitrary 3D shapes has achieved resolutions better than 50 μm with conductivity values approaching that of copper cladding. The advancements in additive manufacturing have improved reliability and repeatability of three dimensional designs while decreasing fabrication time. With this design approach other considerations, such as stability and strength, can be concentrated on during the structure design to realize new shapes. The next step in the future of RF research will encompass designing and further understanding the benefits and consequences of using all three dimensions. This could include meandering an antenna element around other electronic components to make the overall package size smaller or integrating an antenna array into a wing.

The design and analysis of the periodic spiral antenna (PSA) takes a look at a specific case of full volume utilization. In this application meandering in the z-dimension allowed the design to become smaller and more efficient than what is achievable with planar methods. This thesis will go into detail on the characterization of the periodic spiral antenna. To exemplify the benefits of meandering in the z-dimension a loop antenna is presented and benchmarked against other miniaturization techniques. Measured results of two different PSA models are presented and remarks on improving fabrication are given. When an antenna is used as a transmitter incident power will cause thermal generation so a study was conducted to understand how material properties can govern the amount of heat generated.