This paper presents a comprehensive method to analyze negative group delay (NGD) phenomenon at microwave frequency. This method is based on a coupling matrix with finite unloaded quality factor resonators. Unlike conventional NGD circuit topologies that use a lumped resistor R along with bandstop resonators, the proposed topology does not require any R for generating NGD and therefore, provides fully distributed circuit realization. The proposed topology has both source to load and inter-resonator coupling structures. Analytical design equations are provided to obtain predefined NGD with matched input/output ports; the proposed structure therefore does not require any extra matching networks. From analytical analysis, it is also found that the NGD bandwidth as well as magnitude flatness can be controlled by inter-resonator couplings. The proposed design theory is proven through fabrications of NGD circuit at a center frequency of 2.14 GHz. The measurement results are in good agreement with simulations and predicted theoretical results.
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