biological effects of microwaves, cellular radio, cordless telephone systems


In personal communications, the electromagnetic interaction between handset-mounted antennas and the nearby biological tissue is a key consideration. This paper presents a thorough investigation of this antenna-tissue interaction using the finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) electromagnetic simulation approach with detailed models of real-life antennas on a transceiver handset. The monopole, side-mounted planar inverted F, top-mounted bent inverted F, and back-mounted planar inverted F antennas are selected as representative examples of external and internal configurations. Detailed models of the human head and hand are implemented to investigate the effects of the tissue location and physical model on the antenna performance. Experimental results are provided which support the computationally obtained conclusions. The specific absorption rate (SAR) in the tissue is examined for several different antenna/handset configurations. It is found that for a head-handset separation of 2 cm, the SAR in the head has a peak value between 0.9 and 3.8 mW/g and an average value between 0.06 and 0.10 mW/g for 1 W of power delivered to the antenna. Additionally, the head and hand absorb between 48 and 68% of the power delivered to the antenna.

Original Publication Citation

Jensen, M. A., and Y. Rahmat-Samii. "EM Interaction of Handset Antennas and a Human in Personal Communications." Proceedings of the IEEE 83.1 (1995): 7-17

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

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Permanent URL






Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology


Electrical and Computer Engineering