Superbackscattering Antenna Arrays

Iñigo Liberal, Iñigo Ederra, Ramón Gonzalo, Richard W. Ziolkowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


This paper discusses the theory, design, and practical implementation of superbackscattering antenna arrays. In analogy with Uzkov's maximal directivity theorem, it is demonstrated that the maximal backscattering cross-section, normalized to the wavelength squared, of a linear array of N isotropic scatterers whose separation tends to zero is N2(N + 1)2/(4π). This analytical result is validated via numerical optimization of the excitation coefficients, and the same procedure is utilized to assess the maximal backscattering of arrays of electric Hertzian dipoles (EHDs). It is found that electrically small arrays of two and three EHDs can enhance the backscattering by factors of 6.22 and 22.01, respectively, with respect to the maximum value generated by a single element. In addition, physical realizations of arrays featuring comparable enhancement factors can be straightforwardly designed by using a simple procedure inspired by Yagi-Uda antenna concepts. The practical implementations of such arrays based on copper wires and printed circuit technologies is also addressed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7056432
Pages (from-to)2011-2021
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2015


  • Backscattering
  • antenna theory
  • electrically small antennas
  • electromagnetic scattering
  • superdirectivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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