Newly developed expandable antenna harvests vitality from radio waves Electrical engineering, vitality science & supplies know-how, supplies science

A team of researchers from Pennsylvania State University and other countries has developed an expandable antenna and rectenna system that extracts energy from radio waves to power portable devices.

Devices with expandable broadband antennas and rectennas offer applications such as self-powered systems, remote environmental monitoring and clean energy. Photo credit: Zhu et al., Doi: 10.1016 / j.mtphys.2021.100377.

“We don’t want to replace any of these current power sources. We’re trying to provide additional, consistent energy, ”said senior author Professor Huanyu Cheng, a researcher in the Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics at Pennsylvania State University.

Professor Cheng and colleagues developed a stretchable broadband dipole antenna system that allows data captured by health monitoring sensors to be transmitted wirelessly.

The system consists of two stretchable metal antennas that are integrated with a metal coating on conductive graphene material.

The broadband design of the system allows it to maintain its frequency functions even when stretching, bending and twisting.

This system is then connected to a stretchable rectifying circuit, creating a rectified antenna or “rectenna” that can convert energy from electromagnetic waves into electricity.

The electricity can then be used to power wireless devices or to charge energy storage devices such as batteries and supercapacitors.

The Rectenna can convert radio or electromagnetic waves from the environment into energy in order to supply the sensor modules on the device with power, which track temperature, fluid supply and pulse oxygen content.

“Compared to other sources, less energy is produced, but the system can generate electricity continuously – a significant advantage,” said Professor Cheng.

“We use the energy that already surrounds us – radio waves are everywhere, anytime.”

“If we don’t use this energy in the environment, it will simply be wasted. We can harvest this energy and convert it into electricity. “

The team’s work was published in the journal Materials Today Physics.


Jia Zhu et al. Expandable broadband dipole antennas and rectennas for RF energy generation. Materials Today Physics 18: 100377; doi: 10.1016 / j.mtphys.2021.100377

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