EPSRC logo

Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/I003614/1
Title: Liquid-Crystal-Based Beam Steerable Planar Antennas for 60 GHz Wireless Networks
Principal Investigator: Mirshekar, Professor D
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Computer Sci and Electronic Engineering
Organisation: University of Essex
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 02 January 2011 Ends: 01 July 2014 Value (£): 453,065
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
RF & Microwave Technology
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
13 Jul 2010 ICT Prioritisation Panel (July 2010) Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The huge bandwidth available in the unlicensed 57-66 GHz spectrum can support multi-gigabit transmission. Depending on the operating environment and application, 60 GHz wireless networks with ranges between 10 m to 100 m are attractive and currently are under research and development. They can have immense applications in consumer and professional electronic markets. Not only do wireless networks eliminate cabling between communicating terminals, but they permit high definition (HD) uncompressed video streaming over air, can support wireless HD video interactive games, allow secure multi-gigabit data link between close city offices, and can provide safe and fast data, audio and video wireless distribution in planes, trains, cars, offices, hospitals and many other places of interests. Restricted to these applications alone, the sale of 60 GHz chipsets is estimated to run into billion of units. In the 60 GHz band the external interference is extremely low as the absorption of electromagnetic signals by oxygen and obstacles are extremely high. Unfortunately, the high attenuation together with the low transmitter power adversely affects the transmission quality. As flagged by the industry, this problem can be overcome by the implementation of directional antennas in 60 GHz transceivers, capable of steering their beams automatically for maximum signal reception. The aim of this work is to develop beam steerable planar antenna arrays for the 60 GHz band using nematic liquid crystals as a means for controlling the phase distribution over the antenna elements and hence, to provide prototype antennas which are compact, low-power and low-cost for multi-gigabit 60 GHz wireless networks. For this purpose, we will investigate, develop and compare two types of phase shifters based on liquid crystals, and design and build beam steering antenna arrays integrating the best alternative. Both the optimisation of the phase shifter performance and the development of the antenna arrays require detailed liquid crystal and electromagnetic modelling for which there is no commercial software available. In this work, our own advanced liquid crystal and electromagnetic modelling methods are extended and software tools capable of dealing with fully inhomogeneous and anisotropic dielectrics (on a point by point basis) will be developed in order to analyse and design accurately and reliably the 2D and 3D liquid-crystal-based devices including phase shifters and antennas.
Key Findings
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Potential use in non-academic contexts
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Description This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.sx.ac.uk