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Use of Network Analyzer and Coaxial Probe to Determine Complex Permittivity

  • David Blackham (a1)


A vector network analyzer combined with an open ended coaxial probe provides a way to make non-destructive measurements of complex permittivity. These measurements can be made on both solids and liquids.

Many authors have done work on using an open ended coaxial line for making these measurements[1][2][3]. They have presented different techniques for modelling the coaxial probe. This paper does not focus on the area of modelling, but deals instead with the use of a vector network analyzer and coaxial probe in making measurements. To enhance measurement accuracy, the technique described adapts a calibration technique currently in use in vector network analysis.

An HP 8720B vector network analyzer was used for the development and measurements presented in this paper.



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1. Athey, T.W., Stuchly, M.A., and Stuchly, S.S., IEEE Trans. Microwave Theory Tech. 30, 8286 (1982).
2. Burdette, E.C., Cain, F.L., and Seals, J., IEEE Trans. Microwave Theory Tech. 28, 414427 (1980).
3. Misra, D.K., IEEE Trans. Microwave Theory Tech. 35, 925928 (1987).
4. Rytting, D., Advances in Microwave Error Correction Techniques, Hewlett-Packard RF & Microwave Measurement Symposium, (1987).
5. Hasted, J.B., Water a Comprehensive Treatise Volume 1 The Physics and Physical Chemistry of Water, edited by Franks, F. (Plenum Press, New York, 1972), p. 277.
6. Tables of Dielectric Dispersion Data for Pure Liquids and Dilute Solutions, National Bureau of Standards Circular 589 (1958).
7. Szwarnowski, S., PhD thesis, 1979, London University.


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