Inkjet-printed sensors and via-enabled structures for low-cost autonomous wireless platforms
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Fundamental research to implement the printed autonomous wireless sensor platform is studied in three aspects: fabrication method, material selection, and novel applications for autonomous sensing/communication. Additive fabrication processes, such as inkjet printing technology and electroless electroplating, are discussed and the additively created metal layers are characterized. Fundamentals for material characterization utilizing resonators are presented and electrical properties of flexible low-cost substrates like synthetic Teslin paper and Poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) are characterized. Widely used flexible substrates for printing, such as Liquid Crystal Polymer (LCP) and Kapton (polyimide), are summarized and tabulated as well. Novel antenna-based applications for efficient and autonomous operation of wireless sensor system, such as an antenna on Artificial Magnetic Conductor (AMC) for wearable applications, an active beacon oscillator for Wireless Power Transfer (WPT), and a multiband RF energy harvester, are designed and their performances are experimentally verified. The printed RFID-enabled sensor topologies with/without RFID chip are discussed as a new sensor platform for autonomous wireless operation. Fully inkjet-printed via topology for system miniaturization and integration is proposed for the first time. Challenges, circuit modeling and experimental data are presented. Future and remaining work to implement the novel low-cost autonomous wireless sensor platform are also discussed.
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