RF Modeling Software for Optimizing Electromagnetics Devices
Designers of RF and microwave devices need to ensure that the electromagnetics simulations are reliable and robust. Traditional electromagnetic modeling lets you examine RF physics alone, but no real-world product operates under just one branch of physics. To see how other physics phenomena affect the design, you need multiphysics modeling, which allows you to extend the model to include effects such as temperature rise, structural deformations, and fluid flow.
With the RF Module expansion of the COMSOL Multiphysics® simulation platform, you can analyze RF designs in multiphysics scenarios, including microwave and RF heating, all within the same software environment.
Design for the Present and Future with the RF Module
Products, components, and devices can always be improved. With the RF Module, you can optimize designs by investigating effects such as electromagnetic wave propagation, microwave heating, and RF heating — ensuring that you create the best products possible and get ahead of others in your field.
In the fast-paced RF, microwave, and millimeter-wave industries, product development must keep up with advancements in technology. For example, antennas and RF front ends; including filters, couplers, power dividers, and impedance matching circuits; should be compatible with future developments, such as the 5G MIMO network, Internet of Things (IoT), and SatCom.
It is also important to evaluate RF interference and compatibility in wireless communication platforms for the seamless operation of your products for developing applications, including wearable devices, autonomous vehicles, and state-of-the-art microwave and RF products.
Ensure that your organization is ready to embrace these new technologies, and whatever comes next, with the COMSOL® software.
What You Get with the RF Module
When you expand COMSOL Multiphysics® with the RF Module, you can access features for specialized RF and microwave modeling, in addition to the core functionality of the COMSOL Multiphysics® software platform.
The RF Module includes tools for modeling:
- Far-field radiation patterns
- Antenna gain and directivity
- Input impedance
- Phased arrays
- Biomedical devices
- Microwave sintering and spectroscopy
- Bandpass-filter type devices
- Metamaterials and integrated plasmonics
- Millimeter-wave and terahertz radiation
- Resonators and filters
- Couplers and power dividers
- Ferrimagnetic devices
- Near-field communication
- Bloch-Floquet periodic arrays and structures
- SAR calculations
- Microwave ovens
- Scattering and cross radiation
- Transmission lines
- Coplanar waveguides
- Substrate integrated waveguides (SIW)
- Frequency tunable devices
- RF MEMS
Included in the RF Module:
- Electromagnetic heating
- Temperature-dependent material properties
- Electromagnetic-field-dependent material properties
- Strain- and stress-dependent material properties and deformed geometry
Accessible with additional modules:
- Bioheating and biomedical therapy such as microwave ablation and millimeter-wave cancer tissue diagnosis
- Performance impact due to thermal stress and mechanical deformation
- Ferrites with magnetic field biasing
- Piezoelectrically actuated tunable filters
- Microwave plasma
- Radiative heat losses
RF Module Features and Functionality
You can set up RF or microwave device designs by selecting predefined physics interfaces. These interfaces are packaged with features and functionality for a variety of specific modeling scenarios, so you can set up a model without first figuring out the complex Maxwell's equations that describe the physics.
Whether you need to investigate the electromagnetics of a simple RF device or couple other physical phenomena, such as heat transfer or structural mechanics, you can find what you need in the comprehensive selection of built-in physics interfaces.
Did You Know? An interface is a comprehensive package of modeling features that is tailored to a specific area of analysis.
Physics-based modeling interfaces in the RF Module:
- Electromagnetic Waves, Frequency Domain
- Electromagnetic Waves, Time Explicit
- Electromagnetic Waves, Transient
- Transmission Line
- Electrical Circuits
- Microwave Heating
Modeling electromagnetics problems calls for extensive options for boundary conditions and geometry settings. Therefore, you will find preset geometry capabilities in the RF Module, whether you are working in a 1D, 2D, or 3D domain.
Choose from a wide variety of detailed boundary conditions to describe metallic boundaries — including impedance boundaries and perfect electric and magnetic conductors — and radiating (absorbing) boundaries, such as scattering boundaries and perfectly matched layers. To reduce model size, the RF Module also supports the definition of periodic boundary conditions.
You can reduce computational time and memory by using a Periodic, Perfectly Matched Layer, or Symmetry boundary condition.
The variety of boundary conditions covers a wide range of design scenarios, allowing you to model the geometry of ports, cables, devices, and other components and complex geometries.
Boundary conditions in the RF Module:
- Perfect electrically conducting surfaces
- Finite conductivity
- Thin lossy boundaries
- Free space
- Scattering (absorbing) boundaries
- Perfectly matched layers (PMLs)
- Complex impedance
- User defined
- Numeric (mode matched)
- Two-port network systems
- Cable terminations
- Line currents
- Point dipoles
Want to be in the driver’s seat of your simulation? With equation-based modeling, you can modify the governing equations directly within the software, further customizing the model for your own analyses.
For electromagnetics modeling problems, the RF Module relies on the finite element method, specifically the frequency domain form of the governing Maxwell’s equations. Modifying custom equations under the finite element method ensures that you are getting the results needed for a safe and reliable end product.
Did You Know? The finite element method is preferred in many cases over the finite difference method — specifically within multiphysics applications as well as for devices made up of complex geometries.
As an added benefit, by using an equation-based modeling approach and eliminating the need for fundamental coding, you can greatly increase the flexibility in what you can model and reduce the time it would take to set up simulations.
Equation-based modeling flexibility in the RF Module:
Did You Know? Equation-based modeling is the ability to access and modify the equations that govern the modeling interfaces to which they are applied.
- Transmission line equations (can be projected to 2D or 3D applications)
- In-plane, out-of-plane polarizations, or full three-component vector
- Out-of-plane propagation
- 2D axisymmetric
- In-plane, out-of-plane (azimuthal) polarizations, or full three-component vector
- Known azimuthal mode numbers
- Field formulations:
- Total wave (full field)
- Background wave (scattered field)
- Full-wave form of Maxwell's equations using vector edge (curl) elements
- Material property relationships:
- Dielectric media
- Metallic media
- Dispersive media
- Lossy media
- Anisotropic media
- Gyrotropic media
- Mixed media
- Circuit (nondimensional) modeling with SPICE netlists
You have absolute control over your mesh in the RF Module. This is especially useful if the material properties vary during the simulation, such as for electromagnetic heating.
Using the COMSOL Multiphysics® physics-controlled meshing feature, you can easily resolve the wavelengths of electromagnetic phenomena for accurate solutions. Then, you can vary the amount of mesh elements used to solve the model for your desired level of accuracy.
Using a variety of meshing options, which can be automatic or manual, you can mesh dielectric domains and perfectly matched layers (PMLs), as well as periodic structures for RF models. Controlling the mesh ensures accurate simulation results.
Meshing features in the RF Module:
You can use the numerical methods and solvers included in COMSOL Multiphysics® to compute the complex equations behind electromagnetics simulations — without sacrificing speed and accuracy. The well-thought-out default solvers built into the RF Module help you feel confident that your analysis is correct and the design is backed up by solid numerical solutions.
No matter what your simulation goal is, you can select a study type and manipulate all its associated settings, including for eigenvalue, frequency-domain, and fully transient analyses. Based on your unique simulation needs, the RF Module offers a method to solve your problem.
Numerical methods in the RF Module:
- Frequency domain
- Implicit time domain
- Vector/edge elements of order 1, 2, or 3 that adapt to the curvature of CAD surfaces
- Discontinuous Galerkin (dG), explicit time domain
- Transmission line equation, frequency domain
- Model order reduction (MOR) techniques
- Asymptotic waveform evaluation (AWE) method
- Frequency domain modal method
Study types in the RF Module:
- Resonance frequencies and Q-factors of a structure
- Propagation constants and losses in waveguides
- Frequency Domain
- Compute behavior over frequency range
- Fully Transient
- Nonlinear materials
- Signal propagation and return time
- Very broad-band behavior
- Time-domain reflectometry (TDR)
Present simulation results to colleagues, customers, and decision makers in an appealing way, including complex visualizations for S-parameter matrices, far-field radiation patterns, and Smith plots. From eye-catching color scales to straightforward plots of derived values, you can show off results that are both captivating and easy to understand. No matter what your simulation helps you discover, this functionality will get your team on board for the next steps in the development process. This data can also be exported for further postprocessing in other tools.
Did You Know? You can also create customized annotations within a plot of your results to ensure that important values are easy to see.
Postprocessing features in the RF Module:
- S-parameter matrices
- Far-field radiation patterns
- Antenna gain
- Axial ratio
- User-defined expression plots
- Derived variables and user-defined functions and variables
- Radar cross sections
- Smith plots
Think of the time and energy you would be able to devote to new projects if you did not have to run repetitious simulation tests for other people on your team. With the Application Builder, built into COMSOL Multiphysics®, you can build simulation apps that further simplify the simulation workflow by enabling you to restrict the inputs and control the outputs of your model so that your colleagues can run their own analyses.
With apps, you can easily change a design parameter, such as gain or frequency in an antenna, and test it as many times as you need without having to rerun the entire simulation. You can use apps to run your own tests more quickly or distribute apps to other members of your team to run their own tests, further freeing up your time and resources for other projects.
The process is simple:
- Transform your complex RF model into a simple user interface (an app)
- Customize the app to your needs by selecting inputs and outputs for the app users
- Use the COMSOL Server™ product to catalogue apps and make them accessible to other team members
- Enable your team to run their own design analyses without further assistance
You can expand the capabilities of simulation throughout your team, organization, classroom, or customer base by building and using simulation apps.
Develop Microwave and Millimeter-Wave Circuits, Antennas, and Metamaterials for the Real World
In order for RF products, devices, and components to safely operate in the real world, the simulated designs need to be viable. You can analyze how multiple physics affect RF designs by using the COMSOL Multiphysics® software and the specialized add-on RF Module.
Most of the RF components, devices, and products you design are affected by some other branch of physics, whether it be heat transfer, plasma, or structural mechanics, to name a few. For the most accurate study possible, you need to be able to simultaneously examine a variety of these effects. You can couple all of the necessary physical effects in the same modeling environment with the RF Module expansion of COMSOL Multiphysics®, thus streamlining your research.
Is there another specific physics area affecting your end-product that you need to investigate? You can mix and match the RF Module with any add-on module or LiveLink™ product from the product suite, all of which seamlessly integrate with the core COMSOL Multiphysics® software platform. This means that your modeling workflow remains the same regardless of the application area or physics you are modeling.
Request a Software
Every business and every simulation need is different. In order to fully evaluate whether or not the COMSOL Multiphysics® software will meet your requirements, you need to contact us. By talking to one of our sales representatives, you will get personalized recommendations and fully documented examples to help you get the most out of your evaluation and guide you to choose the best license option to suit your needs.
Just click on the "Contact COMSOL" button, fill in your contact details and any specific comments or questions, and submit. You will receive a response from a sales representative within one business day.