These new superthin antennas are made from metallic nanomaterials | Science News

SUPPORT SCIENCE NEWS

Help us keep you informed.

Real Science. Real News.


Teaser

These new superthin antennas are made from metallic nanomaterials

The devices could help bring flexible, lightweight wearable tech online

By
2:00pm, September 21, 2018
polyester sheet with tiny antenna

ANTENNAS EVERYWHERE  2-D flakes of metallic material (sprayed onto polyester sheet above) could be painted onto household appliances or printed onto clothing-embedded electronics to create radio antennas that bring these devices online.

Sponsor Message

A new design for lightweight, flexible antennas, made from metallic 2-D materials, could one day be used connect household appliances and wearable devices to the internet (SN: 6/9/18, p. 18).

Researchers created the antennas, described online September 21 in Science Advances, using a water-based ink containing 1-nanometer-thick flakes of titanium carbide. The ink can be sprayed, painted or printed onto various materials, such as paper, glass or fabric, or fashioned into freestanding films.

Materials scientist and engineer Yury Gogotsi and colleagues at Drexel University in Philadelphia created bendy radio antennas by overlaying titanium carbide films onto sheets of polyester or filter paper. The films ranged from 62 nanometers to 8 micrometers thick — up to about the width of a red blood cell. At about 6 centimeters long, these antennas send and receive radio signals at 2.4 gigahertz, a frequency commonly used for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth communications.

Gogotsi’s team also used titanium carbide films to make radio frequency identification tags, similar to the antitheft tags attached to merchandise at department stores. The researchers’ superslim ID tags can be scanned up to eight meters away. “You can imagine unmanned stores, where every item has a simple and cheap [identification] tag, and those tags are automatically read when a customer leaves the store” to charge that person’s account, Gogotsi says.

Citations

A. Sarycheva et al. 2D titanium carbide (MXene) for wireless communication. Science Advances. Published online September 21, 2018. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aau0920.

Further Reading

M. Temming and M. Quintanilla. Future smart clothes could pack serious gadgetry. Science News. Vol. 193, June 9, 2018, p. 18.

M. Temming. New antennas are up to a hundredth the size of today’s devices. Science News. Vol. 192, September 16, 2017, p. 17.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More on Supernova 1987A

From the Nature Index Paid Content