Isolating Bandpass Filters Using Time-Modulated Resonators

In this paper, we demonstrate, for the first time, an isolating bandpass filter with low-loss forward transmission and high reverse isolation by modulating its constituent resonators. To understand the operating principle behind the device, we develop a spectral domain analysis method and show that the same-frequency nonreciprocity is a result of the nonreciprocal frequency conversion to the intermodulation (IM) frequencies by the time-varying resonators. With appropriate modulation frequency, modulation depth, and phase delay, the signal power at the IM frequencies is converted back to the RF frequency and adds up constructively to form a low-loss forward passband, whereas they add up destructively in the reverse direction to create the isolation. To validate the theory, a lumped-element three-pole 0.04-dB ripple isolating filter with a center frequency of 200 MHz and a ripple bandwidth of 30 MHz is designed, simulated, and measured. When modulated with a sinusoidal frequency of 30 MHz, a modulation index of 0.25, and an incremental phase difference of 45°, the filter achieves a forward insertion loss of 1.5 dB and a reverse isolation of 20 dB. The measured nonmodulated and modulated results agree very well with the simulations. Such nonreciprocal filters may find applications in wideband simultaneous transmit and receive radio front ends.