Dual-band electro-optically steerable antenna

Dmytro Vovchuk, Anna Mikhailovskaya, Dmitry Dobrykh, Toms Salgals, Pavel Ginzburg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The ability to obtain dynamic control over an antenna radiation pattern is one of the main functions, desired in a vast range of applications, including wireless communications, radars, and many others. Widely used approaches include mechanical scanning with antenna apertures and phase switching in arrays. Both of those realizations have severe limitations, related to scanning speeds and implementation costs. Here we demonstrate a solution, where the antenna pattern is switched with optical signals. The system encompasses an active element, surrounded by a set of cylindrically arranged passive dipolar directors, functionalized with tunable impedances. The control circuit is realized as a bipolar transistor, driven by a photodiode. Light illumination in this case serves as a trigger, capable of either closing or opening the transistor, switching the impedance between two values. Following this approach, a compact half-a-wavelength footprint antenna, capable of switching between 6 dBi directional patterns within a few milliseconds’ latency was demonstrated. The developed light activation approach allows constructing devices with multiple almost non-interacting degrees of freedom, as a branched feeding network is not required. The capability of flexible switching between multiple electromagnetic degrees of freedom opens pathways to new wireless applications, where fast beam steering and beamforming performances are required.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105601
JournalJournal of Optics (United Kingdom)
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2023


  • antenna radiation patterns
  • bipolar transistor switches
  • bundle conductors
  • optoelectronic devices
  • steerable antenna

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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