Date of Award

May 2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Electrical Engineering and Computer Science


Jay K. Lee

Second Advisor

Jun H. Choi


Antenna array, bandpass filter, frequency-selective surface, metamaterial, microwave absorber, plasma devices

Subject Categories



This dissertation provides a synthesis technique for the design of thickness-customizable high-order (N ≥ 2) bandpass frequency selective surface (FSS) and its application in realizing versatile multi-layered FSS and absorbers. Admittance inverters layers are used to synthesize the transfer response of the filter given desired characteristics such as filter type, center frequency, and bandwidth. These inverter layers are essentially electromagnetic coupling interlayers that can be adjusted to customize the thickness of multilayered FSS without degrading the desired filter performance. A generalized equivalent circuit model is used to provide physical insights of the proposed design. This synthesis technique is adopted to deliver a versatile implementation capability of high-order FSS filters using various dielectric spacers with arbitrary thicknesses. Such technique enables the realization of spatial filters with variable size, while maintaining the desired filter response. To highlight the significance of the proposed synthesis technique, its concept is applied to two practical problems including the design of compact switchable FSS and adaptive/tunable microwave absorbers as it may allow simpler integration of active components that require specific physical dimensions.

In the first practical problem, the feasibility of deploying plasma switchable compact spatial filter in harsh electromagnetic radiation environments is investigated. The proposed FSS integrates contained plasma (plasma-shells) as active tuning elements. These ceramic, gas-encapsulating shells are ideal for high-power microwave and electromagnetic pulse protection because they are rugged, hermetic, operable at extreme temperatures, and insensitive to ionizing radiation. A 2D periodic second-order switchable spatial filter is implemented. It is composed of electrically small Jerusalem cross structures embedded with discrete plasma shells strategically located to effectively switch the transfer function of the filter. This technique is used to realize compact low profile second order band pass spatial filter operating at S-band. It also has the ability to switch its transfer function within 20 to 100 ns while enabling in-band shielding protection for aerospace or terrestrial electromagnetic systems subjected to high power microwave energy (HPME) and high electromagnetic pulse (HEMP) in harsh space environment. Experimental results are shown to be in good agreement with simulation results.

The second practical problem is addressed by deploying a large-scale adaptable compressed Jaumann absorber for harsh and dynamic electromagnetic environments. The multilayered conductor-backed absorbers are realized by integrating ceramic gas-encapsulating shells and a closely coupled resonant layer that also serves as a biasing electrode to sustain the plasma. These active frequency selective absorbers are analyzed using a transmission line approach to provide the working principle and its frequency tuning capability. By varying the voltage of the sustainer, the plasma can be modeled as a lossy, variable, frequency-power-dependent inductor, providing a dynamic tuning response of the absorption spectral band. To study the power handling capability of the tunable absorber, dielectric and air breakdowns within the device are numerically emulated using electromagnetic simulation by quantifying the maximum field enhancement factor (MFEF). Furthermore, a comprehensive thermal analysis using a simulation method that couples electromagnetics and heat transfer is performed for the absorber under high power continuous microwave excitations. The maximum power level handling capability of the microwave absorber has been numerically predicted and validated experimentally.


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