Conductive inkjet printed antennas on flexible low-cost paper-based substrates for RFID and WSN applications
Rida, Amin H.
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This thesis investigates inkjet-printed flexible antennas fabricated on paper substrates as a system-level solution for ultra-low-cost and mass production of RF structures. These modules are designed for the UHF Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Tags and Wireless Sensor Nodes (WSN); however the approach could be easily extended to other microwave and wireless applications. Chapter 1 serves as an introduction to RFID technology and its capabilities while listing the major challenges that could potentially hinder RFID practical implementation. Chapter 2 discusses the benefits of using paper as a substrate for high-frequency applications, reporting its very good electrical/dielectric performance up to at least 1 GHz. The dielectric properties are studied by using the microstrip ring resonator. Brief discussion on Liquid Crystal Polymer (LCP) is also given in this chapter. Chapter 3 gives details about the inkjet printing technology, including the characterization of the conductive ink, which consists of nano-silver-particles, while highlighting the importance of this technology as a fast and simple fabrication technique especially on flexible organic (e.g.LCP) or paper-based substrates. Chapter 4 focuses on antenna designs. Four examples are given to provide: i) matching techniques to complex IC impedance, ii) proof of concept of inkjet printing on paper substrate through measurement results, iii) demonstration of a fully-integrated wireless sensor modules on paper and show a 2D sensor integration with an RFID tag module on paper. Chapter 5 concludes the thesis by explaining the importance of this work in creating a first step towards an environmentally friendly generation of "green" RF electronics and modules.