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A frequency-reconfigurable microstrip patch antenna is implemented using a stretchable silicone TC5005 substrate. The stretchable patch is fabricated by injecting liquid metal alloy Galinstan into a square reservoir fabricated in the silicone elastomer substrate. An aperture-coupled feeding method is presented to enhance the strain by separating the fixed feed element from the stretched radiating element. The implemented prototype is demonstrated to be stretchable by a strain of up to 300% (and the material has the potential for more). The electrical length of the patch antenna varies with the stretching, and we demonstrate frequency tuning from 1.3 to 3 GHz. A maximum radiation efficiency of 80% is measured for the antenna. The fabrication process of the antenna system and experimental results for impedance and radiation pattern are presented.
Date of Publication: Dec. 2011