A compact ultrawideband (UWB) antenna based on a hexagonal split-ring resonator (HSRR) is presented in this paper for sensing the pH factor. The modified HSRR is a new concept regarding the conventional square split-ring resonator (SSRR). Two HSRRs are interconnected with a strip line and a split in one HSRR is introduced to increase the electrical length and coupling effect. The presented UWB antenna consists of three unit cells on top of the radiating patch element. This combination of UWB antenna and HSRR gives double-negative characteristics which increase the sensitivity of the UWB antenna for the pH sensor. The proposed ultrawideband antenna metamaterial sensor was designed and fabricated on FR-4 substrate. The electrical length of the proposed metamaterial antenna sensor is 0.238 × 0.194 × 0.016 λ, where λ is the lowest frequency of 3 GHz. The fractional bandwidth and bandwidth dimension ratio were achieved with the metamaterial-inspired antenna as 146.91% and 3183.05, respectively. The operating frequency of this antenna sensor covers the bandwidth of 17 GHz, starting from 3 to 20 GHz with a realized gain of 3.88 dB. The proposed HSRR-based ultrawideband antenna sensor is found to reach high gain and bandwidth while maintaining the smallest electrical size, a highly desired property for pH-sensing applications.
Keywords: double negative; metamaterial; pH sensor; split-ring resonator; ultrawideband.