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    Abstract A class of multi-band planar diplexer with sub-sets of frequency-contiguous transmission bands is reported. Such a radio frequency (RF) device is suitable for lightweight high-frequency receivers aimed at multi-band/multi-purpose mobile satellite communications systems. It consists of two channelizing filters, each of them being made up of the in-series cascade connection of replicas of a constituent multi-passband/multi-embedded-stopband filtering stage. This building filtering stage defines a multi-passband transfer function for each channel, in which each main transmission band is split into various sub-passbands by the multi-stopband part. In this manner, each split passband gives rise to several sub-passbands that are imbricated with their counterpart ones of the other channel. The theoretical RF operational principles of the proposed multi-band diplexer approach with sub-sets of imbricated passbands are detailed by means of a coupling–routing–diagram formalism. Besides, the generation of additional transmission zeros in each channelizing filter for higher-selectivity realizations by exploiting cross-coupling techniques into it is also detailed. Furthermore, for experimental demonstration purposes, a microstrip proof-of-concept prototype of second-order octo-band diplexer in the frequency range of 1.5–2.5 GHz that consists of two quad-band channelizing filters with pairs of imbricated passbands is developed and characterized. 
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