In this paper, a novel low-profile direct feed antenna element is proposed to work across the mm-wave frequency band for 5G smartphone applications. The antenna covers the frequency band from 25-32 GHz achieving a wide fractional bandwidth of 24.5%. Contrary to most of the previously reported designs, the proposed antenna has a low-profile single-substrate structure and uses a conventional corporate feed. To improve the overall gain, a 16-element antenna array is formed based on the proposed antenna element. The total realized gain of the array is 15 dBi, and its size is 63×10×0.64 mm3 which fits inside a smartphone chassis. To validate the idea, a prototype is fabricated and measured. A study is also conducted, through simulations, on the beam steering capabilities of the antenna array using digital phase shifters. Having a simple structure and good performance makes the proposed antenna array an excellent candidate for 5G smartphone applications.
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