- Feb 06, 2017-

# Circuit Board Electronic Pcb

## Inhomogeneity

The electromagnetic wave carried by a microstrip line exists partly in the dielectric substrate, and partly in the air above it. In general, the dielectric constant of the substrate will be different (and greater) than that of the air, so that the wave is travelling in an inhomogeneous medium. In consequence, the propagation velocity is somewhere between the speed of radio waves in the substrate, and the speed of radio waves in air. This behaviour is commonly described by stating the effective dielectric constant (or effective relative permittivity) of the microstrip; this being the dielectric constant of an equivalent homogeneous medium (i.e., one resulting in the same propagation velocity).

Further consequences of an inhomogeneous medium include:

• The line will not support a true TEM wave; at non-zero frequencies, both the E and H fields will have longitudinal components (a hybrid mode). The longitudinal components are small however, and so the dominant mode is referred to as quasi-TEM.

• The line is dispersive. With increasing frequency, the effective dielectric constant gradually climbs towards that of the substrate, so that the phase velocity gradually decreases. This is true even with a non-dispersive substrate material (the substrate dielectric constant will usually fall with increasing frequency).

• The characteristic impedance of the line changes slightly with frequency (again, even with a non-dispersive substrate material). The characteristic impedance of non-TEM modes is not uniquely defined, and depending on the precise definition used, the impedance of microstrip either rises, falls, or falls then rises with increasing frequency. The low-frequency limit of the characteristic impedance is referred to as the quasi-static characteristic impedance, and is the same for all definitions of characteristic impedance.

• The wave impedance varies over the cross-section of the line.

• Microstrip lines radiate and discontinuity elements such as stubs and posts, which would be pure reactances in stripline, have a small resistive component due to the radiation from them.