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Abstract— When materials are to be treated Initially, to fix the sample size for which there
with microwaves for different purposes such is maximum sensitivity, samples with different
as drying, online moisture measurements, sizes were taken for measurement.
disinfestations, and remote sensing, thorough Sample
knowledge of the material dielectric properties
becomes extremely important. Unlike for
other materials, measurement of dielectric
properties for biological substances is very
complicated due to the nature of the materials
themselves. This paper presents study on
dielectric properties of various biological
materials like cucumber, paneer, etc using a
ring resonator. The dielectric ring resonator is
used as a model for both analysis and
Fig.1. The dielectric ring resonator
Finally with the decided sample size the
I. INTRODUCTION measurements were done. The readings were
The measurement of dielectric properties is not taken by changing the moisture content of the
only important in scientific but also in industrial sample. This was done by drying the sample in
applications. The interest in microwave dielectric sun and taking readings after every 5 min. while
properties of biological materials has been high in simultaneously noting down the weights of the
recent years. sample. These weights were then used to
Numerous measurement methods have been calculate the moisture content of the sample.
developed in recent years. Using the method The moisture content of material, M, expressed
described in this paper the dielectric properties of in percentage, wet basis, is defined as
various biological materials like cucumber,
paneer, etc. can be determined using a ring
resonator. Moisture measurement is also done for
all these samples since moisture is a major (1)
content in all biological samples. For this purpose where,
ring resonators of 3 different frequencies were
ww = mass of water
designed viz. 2GHz, 2.5GHz and 2.2GHz.
Different substrates for these resonators are used wd = mass of dry sample
like Glass Epoxy and RT Duroid.
Basically, microwave resonators are the
devices in which maximum energy transfer takes II. THEORY
place at the resonant frequency at which they are The configuration of dielectric ring resonator is
designed. This resonant frequency changes with a shown in figure 1. It includes inner radius r1,
change in effective permittivity of the material, outer radius r2 and side arms of length Ls and
which is in contact with the resonator. The use of width w. The sample was kept as shown in the
ring resonators for the measurement gives more figure and the number of samples was increased
accurate results since the parasitic losses in ring horizontally as well as vertically, so that the
are less. There are also no radiation losses since a range of sensitivity could be determined.
ring resonator is a closed structure. Using the
same principle, we have collected the database
for biological samples mentioned above, with the
help of Network Analyzer.
For plane wave propagation through low loss where af is the slope at a given frequency. It
materials, the ratio of phase shift and attenuation, was determined that the slope varied linearly
Ф/A, can be expressed in terms of permittivity as with frequency. Considering that tanδ = ε”,/ε’,
[1], [2] where δ is the loss angle of the dielectric and that
tanδ various with bilk density. Solving (3) for ρ,
we have

The first term of right hand side of (2), (ε’-1)/ε”

was considered earlier as a density-independent
function in calibration equations for microwave
measurement of moisture content of a number of For a given frequency, af is constant and for a
particulate dielectrics [3], because the second given material k is constant. Thus the bulk
term had a little significance for low loss density is provided by (4) in terms of
materials. However, work by Kress-Rogers and permittivity alone, without regard to
Kent [2] on food powders revealed that this term temperature or moisture content. Using this
could be too important to neglect. expression for ρ, we can write
A newer density independent function of the
permittivity for moisture calibration in
microwave measurement was reported by
Trabelsi [4]. This function was based on an
observation of the complex plane plot of ε’/ρ vs
ε”/ρ for a large set of measurements for several
For a given frequency and particular kind of
frequencies and moisture content. It was noted
that, for permittivities determined from material, kaf is a constant and a new density
attenuation and phase measurements at a given independent moisture calibration function
frequency, all of the points fell along a straight can be defined as follows:
line and that differences in moisture content
amounted to translation along the same line
(fig2). The lines for each frequency intersected
the ε”/ρ = 0 axis at common point, ε’/ρ = k,
which represents the value of ε’/ρ for 0% (6)
moisture content. Any change in the frequency
amounted to a rotation of the straight line about The quadratic relationship between the
that intersection point. Thus for a give frequency, calibration function and moisture content was
the equation of the line is expressed as determined empirically [4].
The new calibration function has been studied
ε”/ρ = af (ε’/ρ - k) (3) for a large set of measurements over practical
range of moisture content, bulk density and
temperature. Regression analysis provided the
values for the constants a, b and c in the
following equation:


which defines a plane in three-dimensional space

as shown in fig 3. The resulting equation for
moisture content, M= (Ψ-aT-c) / b, is then given
in terms of density independent calibration
function Ψ, which at any given frequency
depends only on sample permittivity as shown in
Fig 2. Complex plane plot of the dielectric constant (6) The dielectric constant and loss factor can be
and loss factor, normalized to bulk density of samples determined by any suitable microwave
of various moisture content and bulk densities at
indicated temperature for two frequencies, [4]
Further research with this new density-
independent moisture calibration function has Weight Time Freq Q
shown that very similar values of regression (grams) (min) (MHz)
constants were obtained for different materials. 2.39 Initial 1829.15 39.58
These findings support the idea of a universal 2.20 10 1834.42 40.91
calibration, which would provide a significant
2.13 20 1836.98 41.23
2.06 30 1843.21 49.50
1.90 40 1839.43 38.22
III. READINGS Table 4. Readings for cucumber on RT Duroid
T Wt BW Freq Q Loss
min gms (MHz) (MHz) IV. CONCLUSIONS
Initi 1.75 47.60 2188.1 45.9 -28.5
10 1.67 100.42 2153.6 21.4 -35.4
20 1.50 88.24 2170.2 24.5 -34.9
30 1.42 76.68 2164.5 28.2 -33.4
40 1.40 66.30 2174.3 32.7 -33.4
50 1.38 63.27 2172.8 34.3 -32.9
60 1.38 62.47 2172.4 32.7 -33.7
Table 1. Table for readings of Paneer on Glass
Epoxy Substrate Ring Resonator

T Wt BW Freq Q Loss
min gms (MHz) (MHz)
Initi 1.75 114.72 1863.0 14.5 -42.1
10 1.67 35.47 1848.7 52.1 -23.5 Fig 3. Moisture and temperature dependence of
20 1.50 74.91 1869.0 24.9 -20.0 density-independent function Ψ
30 1.42 21.47 1869.0 87.0 -19.5
40 1.40 19.73 1870.2 94.7 -19.1
50 1.38 19.58 1870.6 95.5 -20.0 REFERENCES
60 1.38 20.65 1869.0 90.0 -18.2 [1] M. Kent and E. Kress-Rogers, 1986.
Table 2. Table for readings of Paneer on RT
“Microwave moisture and density
Duroid Substrate Ring Resonator measurements on particulate solids”,
Trans. Inst. Meas. Control, vol. 8, no. 3,
pp. 161-168, 1986.
[2] M. Kent and E. Kress-Rogers, “Microwave
Weight Time Freq Q measurement of powder moisture and
(grams) (min) (MHz) density”, J. Food Eng., vol. 6, pp. 345-376,
2.20 Initial 2068.68 15.43 1987.
2.13 10 2075.09 15.70 [3] W. Meyer and W. Schilz, “Feasibility study
2.06 20 2122.16 23.77 of density-independent moisture
2.00 30 2144.08 19.03 measurement with microwaves”, IEEE
Trans. Microwave Theory Tech., vol. 29,
1.90 40 2150.25 18.97
no. 27, pp. 732-739, 1981.
Table 3. Readings for cucumber sample on Glass
Epoxy Substrate Ring Resonator
[4] S. Trabelsi, A. W. Kraszewski and S. O.
Nelson, “New density-independent
calibration function for microwave sensing
of moisture content in particulate
materials”, IEEE Trans. Inst. Meas. Vol.
47,no. 3, pp. 613-622, 1998.