A three-dimensional compact prototype of a photonic crystal directive antenna is constructed for beam steering and directional radiation in the microwave. Experiments demonstrate that the array of dielectric cylinders placed in a U-shape open metal cavity can be profitably exploited to act as a high-efficiency splitting directive antenna in particular modes. Highly directional radiation has been observed at the fundamental electromagnetic resonance of band edge crystal with a maximum gain of 20.73 dBi and an aperture efficiency of 49.77%. The side-lobes on the E-plane (yoz) are almost constrained in −20 dB benefitting from the band edge lattice-induced resonance on the H-plane (xoy), suppressing the effect of aperture diffraction, and retaining high directivity performance in space. The detected half-power beam widths on the E-plane and H-plane are 7.7° and 8.9°, respectively, agreeing well with the simulations. Different from traditional orientation approaches, the photonic crystal antenna delivers performance of high directivity gain with compact structure, facile preparation, low cost, and high efficiency, which make it suitable for spatial information transmission and modulation and offer potential applications in remote sensing and wireless communication.

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