Wideband Reflectarrays for 5G/6G: A Survey

Publication Name

IEEE Open Journal of Antennas and Propagation


Application demand for faster data rates is driving the need for wider operating bandwidth of future 5G/6G communication systems which in turn poses stringent requirements on the design of suitable antennas. A candidate antenna that can support 5G/6G systems are reflectarrays (RAs) due to their numerous potentials, such as high gain, beam shaping, beam scanning, reconfigurability and multi-beam characteristics. However, reflectarrays are usually limited by their narrowband characteristics. Hence, this work examines the state of the art of wideband reflectarrays. Wideband reflectarrays are reviewed and categorized according to four wideband phase tuning mechanisms. The bandwidth is reviewed and compared both from a unit cell and reflectarray system perspective with emphasis on the gain-bandwidth performance. Different wideband unit cell geometries are covered and grouped by the wideband phase tuning approach. The effect of each wideband phase tuning approach on the gain-bandwidth RA performance is then analyzed by considering the operating frequency, the reflection phase range, the substrate structure and material, the aperture size, the aperture efficiency, the focal distance, the cross-polarization performance as well as the gain and side lobe levels. Finally, the phase tuning approaches are compared against each other, and guidelines are provided for designing reflectarrays with wide gain-bandwidth.

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