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Performance Evaluation of Conductive-Paper Dipole Antennas

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4 Author(s)
Rouse, C.D. ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Univ. of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB, Canada ; Kurz, M.R. ; Petersen, B.R. ; Colpitts, B.G.

The feasibility of electrically conductive paper as a low-cost and eco-friendly alternative to copper is presented for application as an antenna conductor in UHF radio-frequency identification (RFID) systems. The conductivity of the paper is determined to be 50 S/m and the effect of such a low conductivity on the radiation performance of a half-wavelength dipole is investigated through simulation and experimental measurements. The radiation efficiency of a dipole cut from a 0.4 mm thick conductive paper sheet is measured to be 5.0%, which translates to an RFID tag read range of 22% of that obtained using copper. This performance is deemed unacceptable for most antenna applications. However, through simulation a conductivity of 500 S/m is identified as a reasonable target for the developers of conductive paper as the current distribution and terminal properties of the resulting antenna become similar to those observed when using copper. The radiation efficiency is projected at 56 % in this case, resulting in an RFID read range of 73% of that obtained using copper.

Published in:

Antennas and Propagation, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:61 ,  Issue: 3 )