Design and development of novel radio frequency sensors based on far-field and near-field principles
Thai, Trang Thuy
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The objective of this work is to enhance and advance sensing technologies with the design and development of novel radio frequency (RF) sensors based on far-field and near-field principles of the electromagnetic (EM) resonances. In the first part of this thesis, original design and development of a passive RF temperature sensor, a passive RF strain sensor, and a passive RF pressure sensor are presented. The RF temperature sensor is presented in Chapter 3. It is based on split ring resonators loaded with bimorph cantilevers. Its operating principles and equivalent circuits are discussed in Chapter 4, where the design concept is illustrated to be robust and highly adaptable to different sensing ranges, environments, and applicable to other type of sensing beyond temperatures. The passive RF strain sensor, based on a patch antenna loaded with a cantilever-integrated open loop, is presented in Chapter 5, where it is demonstrated to have the highest strain sensitivity in the same remote and passive class of sensors in the state-of-the-art. Chapter 6 describes the passive RF pressure sensor, which is based on a dual-band stacked-patch antenna that allows both identification and sensing to be embedded in its unique dual resonant responses. In the second part of this thesis, an original and first-of-its-kind RF transducer is presented that enables non-touch sensing of human fingers within 3 cm of proximity (based on one unit sensor cell). The RF transducer is based on a slotted microstrip patch coupled to a half-wavelength parallel-coupled microstrip filter operating in the frequency range of 6 – 8 GHz. The sensing mechanism is based on the EM near-field coupling between the resonator and the human finger. Fundamentally different from the electric field capacitive sensing, this new method of sensing, the first of its kind, based on near-field interference that produces a myriad of nonlinearities in the sensing response, can introduce new capabilities for the interface of electronic displays (the detection is based on pattern recognition). What set this sensor and its platform apart from previous proximity sensors and microwave sensing platforms is the low profile planar structure of the system, and its compatibility with mobile applications. The thesis provides both breadth and depth in the proposed design and development and thus presenting a complete research in its contributions to RF sensing.
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