ZTE Communications ›› 2022, Vol. 20 ›› Issue (1): 21-27.DOI: 10.12142/ZTECOM.202201004

• Special Topic • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Recent Developments of Transmissive Reconfigurable Intelligent Surfaces: A Review

TANG Junwen(), XU Shenheng(), YANG Fan, LI Maokun   

  1. Department of Electronic Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
  • Received:2022-01-24 Online:2022-03-25 Published:2022-04-06
  • About author:TANG Junwen (tjw17@mails.tsinghua.edu.cn) received the B.S. degree in electronic information engineering from Xidian University, China in 2017, and she is currently pursuing the Ph.D. degree at Department of Electronic Engineering, Tsinghua University, China. Her current research interests include antenna theory and reconfigurable antenna.|XU Shenheng (shxu@tsinghua.edu.cn) received the B.S. and M.S. degrees from Southeast University, China in 2001 and 2004, respectively and the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), USA in 2009. From 2000 to 2004, he was a research assistant with the State Key Laboratory of Millimeter Waves, Southeast University, China. From 2004 to 2011, he was a graduate student researcher and then became a post-doctoral researcher with the Antenna Research, Analysis, and Measurement Laboratory, UCLA. In 2012, he joined the Department of Electronic Engineering, Tsinghua University, China, as an associate professor. His current research interests include novel designs of high-gain antennas for advanced applications, artificial electromagnetic structures, and electromagnetic and antenna theories.|YANG Fan received the B.S. and M.S. degrees from Tsinghua University, China and the Ph.D. degree from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), USA. He joined the Electrical Engineering Department, University of Mississippi, USA, as an assistant professor and was promoted to an associate professor in 2009. In 2011, he joined the Electronic Engineering Department, Tsinghua University, as a professor. He has authored or coauthored more than 300 journal articles and conference articles, six book chapters, and five books. Dr. YANG is an ACES Fellow, IEEE Fellow, and a recipient of several prestigious awards and recognition, including the Young Scientist Awards of the 2005 URSI General Assembly and of the 2007 International Symposium on Electromagnetic Theory, the 2008 Junior Faculty Research Award of the University of Mississippi, the 2009 Inaugural IEEE Donald G. Dudley Jr. Undergraduate Teaching Award, and the 2011 Recipient of Global Experts Program of China. He was the Technical Program Committee (TPC) Chair of 2014 IEEE International Symposium on Antennas and Propagation and USNC-URSI Radio Science Meeting. He is also an IEEE APS Distinguished Lecturer from 2018 to 2020. His current research interests include antennas, surface electromagnetics, computational electromagnetics and applied electromagnetic systems.|LI Maokun received the B.S. degree in electronic engineering from Tsinghua University, China in 2002, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA in 2004 and 2007, respectively. After graduation, he worked as a senior research scientist at Schlumberger-Doll Research, USA. Since 2014, he has joined the Department of Electronic Engineering, Tsinghua University. He has authored one book chapter, 50 journal articles and 120 conference proceedings, and held three patent applications. His research interests include fast algorithms in computational electromagnetics and their applications in antenna modeling, electromagnetic compatibility analysis, and inverse problems. Dr. LI was a recipient of the China National 1 000 Plan in 2014 and the 2017 IEEE Ulrich L. Rohde Innovative Conference Paper Award. He also serves as the Associate Editor for the IEEE Journal on Multiscale and Multiphysics Computational Techniques and Applied Computational Electromagnetic Society Journal, and the Guest Editor for the special issue on “Electromagnetic Inverse Problems for Sensing and Imaging” in IEEE Antennas and Propagation Magazine.


Reconfigurable intelligent surface (RIS) is considered as one of the key technologies for the next-generation mobile communication systems. The transmissive RIS is able to achieve dynamic beamforming capability while transmitting an in-band RF signal through its aperture, and has promising prospects in various practical application scenarios. This paper reviews some of the latest developments of the transmissive RIS. The approaches for transmissive RIS designs are classified and described briefly. Numerous designs with different phase resolutions, such as 1-bit, 2-bit or continuous 360° phase shifts, are presented, with detailed discussions on their operating mechanisms and transmission performances. The design solutions for various transmissive RIS elements are summarized and compared.

Key words: antenna, mobile communications, phase shifter, RIS, transmitarray