Complex Permittivity Measurement of Paraffin Phase-Change Material at 26 GHz–1.1 THz Using Time-Domain Spectroscopy

  • Behnam GhassemiparvinEmail author
  • Nima Ghalichechian


We report complex permittivity measurement of hexatriacontane films at the frequency range of 26 GHz–1.1 THz. Hexatriacontane (C36H74) has a melting point of 75 °C that exhibits a 15% volumetric change which is crucial in developing low-loss RF microactuators with large displacement. In this work, we employ time-domain spectroscopy to measure the transmission coefficient of the paraffin samples in the frequency range of 0.3–1.1 THz. In order to extract the dielectric constant and accurately estimate the small values of loss tangent, we developed a propagation model which measured data are fitted to through a new least-squares minimization method. A Debye relaxation model is used to model the frequency dependence of the permittivity. Described method is rapidly convergent with minimum amount of signal processing. This method can be used to determine the complex permittivity of the materials by devising an appropriate function for the frequency dependence of the complex permittivity. Transmission through 20 samples of paraffin with various thicknesses is measured and the average permittivity is found to be 2.25 with standard deviation of 0.028. The loss tangent is monotonically increasing with frequency and the maximum value is 6.32 × 10− 3 at 1.1 THz. Our study demonstrates that paraffin is a low-loss dielectric which makes it an attractive candidate for development of electro-thermo-mechanical actuators for sub-millimeter- and millimeter wave (mmW) variable capacitors, low-loss reconfigurable antennas, and phase shifters.


Alkane Complex permittivity Loss tangent Millimeter wave Paraffin Terahertz Time-domain spectroscopy 


Funding Information

This material is based upon work supported by the US National Science Foundation (NSF) under Grant No. 1408228.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Electroscience LaboratoryThe Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA

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