In this study, we reviewed three topics regarding the application of liquid-crystal (LC) materials to millimeter-wave (MMW) devices. It is essential to develop useful measurement methods for refractive indices of LC materials in the MMW region. Herein, a novel measurement method using optical short is demonstrated using a Si semiconductor substrate. There are two approaches to develop MMW LC devices. One is the quasi-optical approach, which involves scaling up the optical components, and the other approach involves integrating the LC materials into high-frequency electric circuits. A three-dimensional (3D) printer is used to fabricate the Fresnel lens, which is a typical quasi-optical device useful in the MMW region, where we can develop the tunable lens by introducing LC materials. A planar-type MMW waveguide is advantageous for integrating the LC materials to develop LC MMW devices using the second approach. We investigated a useful microstrip-line-type LC phase shifter by developing a novel conversion circuit to introduce the LC material onto the dielectric substrate surface. A phase shifter is an important MMW component that is used to attain a phased array antenna system, and a minimal twin antenna array is demonstrated using the microstrip-line-type LC phase shifters.
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