Stretchable, 3D antenna improves wearable tech performance
A new stretchable antenna can improve the performance of wearable technology by changing its physical shape to adapt to the body.
A stretchable wideband dipole antenna can improve the performance of wearable technology by changing its physical shape to adapt to body movements and pressure, according to Huanyu “Larry” Cheng, Dorothy Quiggle Career Development Assistant Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics in the Penn State College of Engineering. Building on its 2D precursor, the antenna uses mechanical assembly to “pop up” from a flat organization to a 3D structure. It reverses as the wearer stretches.
“The antenna can be stretched in an ordered manner,” Cheng said. “The 3D structure is first transformed into the 2D structure upon the initial stretching and then the 2D serpentine is stretched nearly straight upon further stretching.”
The antenna is also dipole, meaning it has two pairs of radiation arms. By coupling frequencies between the arms, the researchers achieved a large bandwidth in which the antenna can wirelessly receive power and transmit information. According to Cheng, the device performs well even when stretched over 25%.
“The 3D dipole antenna can simultaneously improve the stretchability, enhance on-body performance and automatically adjust to radio frequency changes,” Cheng said. “Compared with its 2D counterpart, the 3D antenna with significantly reduced performance degradation can provide much improved on-body wireless communication and energy harvesting efficiency to enable a self-powered sensing platform.”
– Edited by Chris Vavra, web content manager, Control Engineering, CFE Media and Technology, firstname.lastname@example.org.