Laboratory measurement of material electrical properties: extending the application of lumped-circuit equivalent models to 1 GHz

Tsylya M. Levitskaya, Ben K. Sternberg

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


For measurements of material electrical properties in a frequency range from 1 kHz to 1 GHz, we used a laboratory method based on the concept of lumped R, L, and C circuit elements. While this method has typically been used at frequencies of less than 100 MHz, we have extended its application up to 1 GHz. The complex electrical parameters of a material, such as resistivity, conductivity, and dielectric permittivity were obtained by measuring magnitude Z and phase φ of the sample impedance Z. We relate the material electrical parameters to either series or parallel lumped-circuit equivalent models. Depending on the frequency range, two different designs of the sample holder can be used: (1) a parallel-plate capacitor with disk electrodes, for low frequencies (from 1 kHz to 100 MHz), and (2) a coaxial capacitor, for a broad band up to higher frequencies (from 1 kHz to 1 GHz). Measured values of the sample impedance usually include errors due to effects from the sample holder and its connections to the instrument. These effects, caused by the inductance, resistance, and stray capacitance of the measuring system, are taken into account. Our measurements of several standard materials, including air, Teflon, octanol, butanol, and methanol, showed that the relative standard deviation from the mean for the dielectric permittivity (in the range where it is frequency independent) is typically less than 1%. The difference between our mean values and previously published values for these standard materials is also less than 1%.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)371-383
Number of pages13
JournalRadio Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2000
EventThe International Symposium on Electromagentic Theory - Thessaloniki, Greece
Duration: May 25 1998May 28 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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