Microstrip Line Calculator

Welcome to this engineering tutorial where we will explore the concept of a microstrip line and its calculation. The microstrip line is a commonly used transmission line configuration in high-frequency and microwave engineering. It consists of a conductor trace on a dielectric substrate with a ground plane. Understanding the dimensions and characteristics of a microstrip line is crucial for designing and analyzing transmission lines, antennas, and RF circuits. In this tutorial, we will introduce the concept, share interesting facts, explain the formula for calculating microstrip line parameters, provide a real-life example, and equip you with the knowledge to determine the characteristics of microstrip lines in different applications.

Microstrip Line Calculator
Relative Permittivity
Height of Dielectric
Width of Trace
Trace Thickness
Microstrip Line Calculator Results
Characteristic Impedance = Ohm
Capacitance Per Unit Length = F/m
Effective Propagation Delay = s/m
Inductance Per Unit Length = H/m

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Learn about the microstrip line calculator and its application in engineering. This tutorial provides an introduction to the concept, interesting facts, explanation of the formula, a real-life example, and more

Interesting Facts about Microstrip Lines

Before we delve into the calculations, let's discover some fascinating facts about microstrip lines:

  • A microstrip line is a type of planar transmission line widely used in high-frequency and microwave applications.
  • It is composed of a conductor trace on the top surface of a dielectric substrate, with a ground plane on the bottom surface.
  • Microstrip lines are relatively easy to manufacture, lightweight, and compatible with printed circuit board (PCB) technologies.
  • They are used in various applications, including signal transmission, impedance matching, antennas, and filters.
  • The characteristic impedance, effective dielectric constant, and dimensions of a microstrip line determine its electrical properties.
  • Microstrip lines can exhibit various modes of propagation, including the dominant mode, higher-order modes, and surface waves.

Formula for Calculating Microstrip Line Parameters

The microstrip line parameters, such as characteristic impedance (Z0), effective dielectric constant (εr,eff), and physical dimensions, can be calculated using empirical formulas based on the microstrip's geometry and dielectric properties. One commonly used formula for characteristic impedance is the one proposed by Hammerstad and Jensen:

Z0 = 60 / √εr,eff × ln(h / 0.8W + 0.25πWr / λ)


  • Z0 is the characteristic impedance of the microstrip line
  • εr,eff is the effective dielectric constant of the microstrip line
  • h is the height of the microstrip line above the ground plane
  • W is the width of the microstrip trace
  • λ is the wavelength of the signal in free space
  • Wr is a correction factor defined as Wr = W + 1.1t for W/h ≤ 1 and Wr = W + 1.1t + 2.2(t / h)2 for W/h > 1

Using this formula, you can calculate the characteristic impedance of a microstrip line based on its dimensions and dielectric properties.

Example: Real-Life Application of Microstrip Line Calculator

Let's consider an example to better understand how the microstrip line calculator is applied in real-life engineering scenarios. Suppose we have a microstrip line on a PCB with a width (W) of 2 millimeters, a height (h) of 0.2 millimeters, and a dielectric constant (εr) of 4.3. We want to calculate the characteristic impedance (Z0) of the microstrip line at a frequency where the wavelength (λ) is 10 centimeters.

Using the Hammerstad and Jensen formula, we can calculate the characteristic impedance as follows:

Z0 = 60 / √εr,eff × ln(h / 0.8W + 0.25πWr / λ)

First, we need to calculate the effective dielectric constant (εr,eff) of the microstrip line:

εr,eff = (εr + 1) / 2 + ((εr - 1) / 2) × (1 + 12h / W)-0.5

Substituting the given values into the formula:

εr,eff = (4.3 + 1) / 2 + ((4.3 - 1) / 2) × (1 + 12 × 0.2 / 2)-0.5

Simplifying the equation:

εr,eff ≈ 2.65

Now, we can calculate the characteristic impedance (Z0) using the obtained value of εr,eff:

Z0 = 60 / √2.65 × ln(0.2 / (0.8 × 2) + 0.25π(2 + 1.1 × 0.2) / 10)

Simplifying the equation:

Z0 ≈ 41.28 Ω

In this example, the characteristic impedance (Z0) of the microstrip line is approximately 41.28 ohms (Ω) at the given frequency and dimensions. This value indicates the impedance at which the microstrip line should be terminated or matched to ensure optimal signal transmission and minimize signal reflections.

Real-life engineering applications of the microstrip line calculator can be found in various fields. Microstrip lines are commonly used in RF and microwave systems for connecting components such as antennas, filters, and amplifiers. Accurate calculation of microstrip line parameters enables engineers to design and optimize these systems for maximum power transfer, impedance matching, and signal integrity.

The microstrip line calculator is also essential in high-speed digital circuits, where signal integrity is crucial. By properly designing microstrip lines with appropriate dimensions and characteristic impedance, engineers can minimize signal reflections, signal distortions, and electromagnetic interference, ensuring reliable and efficient data transmission.

Moreover, the microstrip line calculator plays a significant role in the design of printed circuit boards (PCBs) for high-frequency applications. By accurately calculating the characteristic impedance of microstrip lines, engineers can ensure proper impedance matching between different components on the PCB, minimizing signal reflections and optimizing signal integrity.

In summary, understanding and calculating the parameters of microstrip lines are essential in engineering disciplines, particularly in high-frequency and microwave applications. By utilizing the Hammerstad and Jensen formula or other empirical formulas, engineers can determine the characteristic impedance and effective dielectric constant of microstrip lines based on their dimensions and dielectric properties. This knowledge empowers engineers to design, analyze, and optimize transmission lines, antennas, and RF circuits for efficient signal transmission, impedance matching, and signal integrity.

Now that you have learned about the microstrip line calculator, you can apply this knowledge to your engineering projects and designs. Whether you're working on RF systems, microwave circuits, or high-speed digital designs, understanding microstrip line parameters will help you achieve optimal performance, minimize signal degradation, and ensure reliable operation.

Thank you for going through this tutorial. If you have any further questions, feel free to ask. Happy engineering!