EMF Exposure and Radiation Performance of Millimeter-Wave Antennas in 5G Mobile Terminals

Abstract: Since 2019, 5G has been rolled out in many countries. To support the demand of increasing traffic capacity, for the first time, the millimeter-wave (mmWave) frequency spectrum is exploited for the mobile wireless telecommunication technologies. For the telecommunication industry,  many questions are raised with the advent of 5G mmWave, including what would impact the performance of mmWave antennas in a mobile terminal and how to evaluate the impacts/effects. This thesis focuses on two topics about 5G mmWave mobile antenna performance. One is the radiation performance for mmWave antennas integrated in the mobile terminal. The other is electromagnetic field (EMF) exposure from mmWave mobile antennas. When integrated into a mobile terminal, the radiation performance of mmWave antennas can be affected by the housing conditions, for example, phone casing and display, etc. By detailed step-by-step simulation analyses, different types of housing effects, as well as the effects of the user's hand, are investigated. The effects of realistic housing conditions are also examined with far-field measurements and near-field antenna diagnose based on the solution to the inverse problem. The analyses provide useful insights into mmWave mobile antenna design and measurements in realistic housing environments. The mobile terminal needs to comply with regulations on EMF exposure before putting them on the market. By carrying out multi-physics simulation hybridizing the electromagnetic problem and the thermal problem, the correlation between tissue temperature rise and incident power density generated by the mmWave antennas is studied. Various field combination methods for EMF exposure from array antenna elements are investigated with simulations and measurements, and methods for calculating the upper bound of EMF exposure from the mmWave antenna array are developed. Recently, the international EMF exposure guidelines have been revised, including the changes of the EMF exposure limits in the mmWave frequencies. The implications of the revised limits are investigated by assessing the maximum power and maximum equivalent isotropically radiated power (EIRP) that are allowed to be transmitted from mmWave mobile antennas in the ideal as well as realistic scenarios. The obtained results provide valuable input to the device manufacturer, network operators, and standardization bodies.

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