A Single-Switch-per-Bit Topology for mmWave and THz Reconfigurable Reflective Surfaces
We present novel multi-bit unit-cell topologies for reconfigurable reflective surfaces –RRSs– (e.g., reflectarray antennas) with compact designs for millimeter-wave and terahertz (mmWave/THz) applications. Typically, mmWave/THz RRSs utilize one or multiple single-pole-single-throw (SPST) switches leading to single- or dual-bit modulated surfaces. These surfaces utilize the switches to manipulate the phase of the imping waves, beamforming the reflected waves to the desired direction. As such, RRSs are leveraged either for imaging or wireless communication applications, which typically require the formation of a single beam (no grating lobes) and high gains. The gain and quantization lobe levels of an RRS is strictly related to the number of phase bits utilized in the unit-cell. Explicitly, more phase bits lead to lower quantization errors and better maximum gain/aperture efficiency. However, increasing the number of phase bits requires more SPST switches integrated within the unit-cell, leading to complex designs with high RF losses. Herein, we present, for the first time, RRSs with up to 4 phase quantization bits (16 states) that maintain one switch-per-bit topology thus retaining a low-complexity design. The proposed RRSs is presented alongside a series of analytical and full-wave simulated results.