Page 08/28/2015 07:59:32

Aftab's stretchable antenna paper in Adv. Funct. Mater.!!

Body integrated wearable electronics can be used for health monitoring, security and wellness purpose. Due to the complex structuring, asymmetric surface of human body and atypical motion such as stretching in elbow, finger joints, wrist, knee, ankle, etc. electronics integrated to body need to be physically flexible, conforming and stretchable. In that context, state-of-the-art electronics are unusable due to their bulky, rigid and brittle framework. It is therefore critical to develop stretchable electronics which can physically stretch to absorb the strain associated with body movements. While research in stretchable electronics has started getting momentum, a stretchable antenna which can perform far-field communications and can operate at constant frequency, such that physical shape modulation will not compromise its functionality, is yet to be realized. Here, we show a stretchable antenna, using a low-cost metal (copper) on flexible polymeric platform, which functions at constant frequency of 2.45 GHz, for far-field applications. While mounted on a stretchable fabric (typically found in Spandex) worn by a human subject the fabricated antenna communicated at a distance of 80 meters with 1.25 mW (= 1 dBm) transmitted power. If the transmitted power is increased to 10 dBm then this range value would go up to 225 meters for the antenna mounted on a human body. This work shows an integration strategy from compact antenna design for enhanced data communication capability to its practical experimentation for more robust functionality and enhanced communication capability in future generation wearable electronics.
Fantastic work, Aftab! A supremely collaborative work with Prof. Atif Shamim’s group at KAUST and Prof. John Rogers’ group in UIUC.
Metal/Polymer Based Stretchable Antenna for Constant Frequency Far-Field Communication in Wearable Electronics
Aftab M. Hussain, Farhan A. Ghaffar, Sing I. Park, John A. Rogers, Atif Shamim, Muhammad M. Hussain
You can read the paper in Advanced Functional Materials as soon as it is published online!