Design of high-performance millimeter wave and sub-millimeter wave quasi-optical isolators and circulators

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Faraday rotators using permanently magnetized ferrite materials are used to make quasi-optical isolators and circulators at millimeter wave and sub-millimeter wave frequencies that have far higher performance than their waveguide equivalents. This paper demonstrates state-of-the-art performance for four-port quasi-optical circulators with 60-dB isolation, 0.2-dB insertion loss, and better than 80-dB return loss for devices centered at 94 GHz. A method is presented for the accurate characterization of the complex permeability and permittivity of permanently magnetized ferrites via a series of frequency and polarization dependent transmission and reflection measurements. The dielectric and magnetic parameters for the sample are determined by fitting theoretical curves to the measured data. These fitted parameters are then used in a model for a complete quasi-optical Faraday rotator, including matching layers, allowing the accurate design and fabrication of these devices for any specific operational frequency band in the millimeter wave and sub-millimeter wave regime. Examples are given showing typical results and demonstrating how temperature cycling can significantly improve the temperature stability of these devices, while allowing fine tuning of the center frequency. We also indicate the performance possible at higher frequencies to above 1 THz and outline performance of truly planar isolators where lossy polarizer material is built into the Faraday rotator matching structure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)890-898
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2007


  • Faraday rotator
  • Ferrite
  • Millimeter waves
  • Quasioptics
  • Sub-millimeter waves
  • Ferrite reflection circulator
  • Complex permittivity
  • Faraday rotators
  • Permeability
  • Frequencies
  • Microwave
  • Spectrometer
  • Resonance
  • Range


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