Microwave Measurements and Components

Design of Passive Microwave Components on Multilayered Printed Circuit Boards Using Functional Vias

Ph.D. Thesis Andreas Hardock. 01.01.2011 – 31.03.2015

This thesis deals with the design of passive microwave components such as filters, couplers and matching networks using functional vias (plated through holes) on multilayered printed circuit boards. For this purpose, the otherwise parasitic wave effects associated with vias are carefully analyzed and used functionally. The design of the components was performed on theoretical and simulation level. Scattering parameters measurements up to 35 GHz are used for validation purposes. The designs are compared to common microwave components based on microstriplines. Advantages and disadvantages with regard to electric performance and area requirements are discussed.


Multilayer subsrate simulator developed at the the Institute of Electromagnetic Theory. (Source: TET, TUHH).


Top-view of a via coupler designed on a 8-layer PCB. (Source: TET, TUHH).

Related Publications:

Andreas Hardock, Heinz-D. Brüns, Christian Schuster
Chebyshev Filter Design Using Vias as Quasi-Transmission Lines in Printed Circuit Boards
IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques, vol. 63, no. 3, March 2015

Andreas Hardock, Young H. Kwark, Renato Rimolo-Donadio, Heinz-Dietrich Brüns, Christian Schuster
Using Via Stubs in Periodic Structures for Microwave Filter Design
IEEE Transactions on Components, Packaging and Manufacturing Technology, vol. 4, no. 7, July 2014

Andreas Hardock, Renato Rimolo-Donadio, Sebastian Müller, Young H. Kwark, and Christian Schuster
Signal integrity: Efficient, physics-based via modeling: Return path, impedance, and stub effect control
IEEE Electromagnetic Compatibility Magazine, vol. 3, no. 1, April 2014

Andreas Hardock, Renato Rimolo-Donadio, Heinz-Dietrich Brüns, Christian Schuster
Application of Vias as Functional Elements in Microwave Coupling Structures
IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques,vol. 61, no. 10, October 2013

Andreas Hardock, Sebastian Müller, Xiaomin Duan, Heinz-Dietrich Brüns, Christian Schuster
Minimizing Displacement Return Currents in Multilayer Via Structures
IEEE Conference on Electrical Performance of Electronic Packaging and Systems (EPEPS), Tempe, AZ, USA, October 21-24, 2012

Andreas Hardock, Renato Rimolo-Donadio, Heinz Brüns, Christian Schuster
Double Stub Matching in Multilayered Printed Circuit Board using Vias
Electronic Components and Technology Conference (ECTC) 2012, San Diego, USA, May 29 – June 01, 2012

Probing and Fixturing Techniques for Wideband Multiport Measurements in Digital Packaging

Ph. D. Thesis Miroslav Kotzev. 01.10.2007 – 29.02.2013

This thesis deals with test signal probing and fixturing techniques for wideband multiport measurements in digital packaging in the frequency range from a few MHz to 50 GHz. Three different signal launch techniques are investigated in time and frequency domains. At first, the performance of the coaxial surface mounted connector launch is explored in case of crosstalk measurements in a backplane connector via pin field. In the next step the recessed probe launche technique is briefly presented. After that the main focus is on the results obtained in recent investigations with respect to the launch calibration, application to measurements of embedded mulitlayer structures and modifications to improve the launch bandwidth. Finally, the concept of a novel multiport probing fixture is presented and its electrical performance explored. Using a simple two-tier calibration procedure, the effect of the probing fixture on measurements of dense via array structures is reduced and the results obtained are validated with microprobe based measurements. Based on 3D full-wave electromagnetic modeling, suggestions for layout optimization are made which will be needed to extend the applicability of these techniques to data rates of 20 Gbit/s and beyond.

TUHH Universitätsbibliothek. TUBDok Link:


12-port vector network analyzer from Agilent Technologies connected to backplane connector test vehicle (courtesy of IBM Development Böblingen,Germany)(Source: TET, TUHH).


Multiport probing measurement setup for investigations in dense via structures applying commercial microprobes and micropositioners (Source: TET, TUHH).

Related Publications:

Miroslav Kotzev, Renato Rimolo-Donadio, Young H. Kwark, Christian W. Baks, Xiaoxiong Gu, Christian Schuster
Electrical Performance of the Recessed Probe Launch Technique for Measurement of Embedded Multilayer Structures
IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement, vol. 61, no. 12, December 2012

Miroslav Kotzev, Young H. Kwark, Christian W. Baks, Xiaoxiong Gu, Christian Schuster
Electrical Performance of a Multiport Interposer for Measurements of Dense Via Arrays
IEEE Workshop on Signal Propagation on Interconnects (SPI), Naples, Italy, May 8-11, 2011

Miroslav Kotzev, Christian Schuster
Custom-Made Calibration Standards for Measurements of Multilayer Substrates
German Microwave Conference (GeMic), Darmstadt, Germany, March 14-16, 2011

Miroslav Kotzev, Heinz-D. Brüns, Christian Schuster
Effect of Via Stubs on the TRL Calibration Technique for Measurement of Embedded Multilayer Structures
European Microwave Conference (EuMC), Paris, France, September 28 – 30, 2010

Miroslav Kotzev, Roland Frech, Hubert Harrer, Dierk Kaller, Andreas Huber, Thomas-Michael Winkel, Heinz-D. Brüns, Christian Schuster
Crosstalk Analysis in High Density Connector Via Pin Fields for Digital Backplane Applications Using a 12-Port Vector Network Analyzer
IEEE Conference of Electronics System Integration Technology (ESTC), Berlin, Germany, September 13 – 16, 2010

Miroslav Kotzev, Renato Rimolo-Donadio, Heinz-D. Brüns, Christian Schuster
Multiport Measurement and Deembedding Techniques for Crosstalk Study in Via Arrays
IEEE Workshop on Signal Propagation on Interconnects (SPI), Hildesheim, Germany, May 9-12, 2010

Miroslav Kotzev, Renato Rimolo-Donadio, Christian Schuster
Extraction of Broadband Error Boxes for Microprobes and Recessed Probe
Launches for Measurement of Printed Circuit Board Structures
IEEE Workshop on Signal Propagation on Interconnects (SPI), Strasbourg, France, May 12-15, 2009

Miroslav Kotzev, Xiaoxiong Gu, Young H. Kwark, Mark B. Ritter, Renato Rimolo-Donadio, Christian Schuster
Bandwidth Study of Recessed Probe Launch Variations for Broadband
Measurement of Embedded PCB Structures
German Microwave Conference (GeMic) 2009, Munich, Germany, March 16-18, 2009