Extremely-thin versatile spray MXene antennas for 5G

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Researchers in the United States have demonstrated MXene spray antennas suitable for 5G, wearable and IoT networks.

The antennas developed at Drexel University use the two-dimensional material MXene in a two-year project and have performance levels approaching copper.

“This combination of communication performance with extreme thinness, flexibility and durability sets a new standard for antenna technology,” said Yury Gogotsi, professor of materials science and engineering at Drexel College of Engineering. “While copper antennas have been performing at their best for some time, their physical limitations have prevented connected and mobile technology from making the great advances that many have predicted. Because of their unique properties, MXene antennas could play an important role.” Role in the development of IoT technology. “

The water-soluble ceramic material (Ti 3C2Tx) can be sprayed, screen-printed or ink-jet printed on almost any substrate and remains flexible without compromising performance.

“In general, copper antenna arrays are made by etching circuit boards. This is a difficult process on a flexible substrate,” said Dr. Meikang Han, researcher at the AJ Drexel Nanomaterials Institute. “This gives MXene a distinct advantage as it disperses in water to create an ink that can be sprayed or printed on building walls or flexible substrates to create antennas.”

Three sets of spray-coated MXene antennas tested were between 7 and 14 times thinner and 15 to 30 times lighter than a similar copper antenna. The antennas have been tested for gain, radiation efficiency and directivity in both laboratory and open environments.

In each case, the MXene antennas performed within 5 percent of the copper antennas, with performance increasing with the thickness of the antenna. The most powerful MXene patch antenna, about one-seventh the thickness of standard copper antennas, was 99 percent as efficient as copper antennas operated in an open environment at a frequency of 16.4 GHz. MXenes were also 98% as effective as theirs

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