Navigation Links
Shape shifters: Researchers create new breed of antennas
Date:12/1/2009

Antennas aren't just for listening to the radio anymore. They're used in everything from cell phones to GPS devices. Research from North Carolina State University is revolutionizing the field of antenna design creating shape-shifting antennas that open the door to a host of new uses in fields ranging from public safety to military deployment.

Modern antennas are made from copper or other metals, but there are limitations to how far they can be bent and how often before they break completely. NC State scientists have created antennas using an alloy that "can be bent, stretched, cut and twisted and will return to its original shape," says Dr. Michael Dickey, assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at NC State and co-author of the research.

The researchers make the new antennas by injecting an alloy made up of the metals gallium and indium, which remains in liquid form at room temperature, into very small channels the width of a human hair. The channels are hollow, like a straw, with openings at either end but can be any shape. Once the alloy has filled the channel, the surface of the alloy oxidizes, creating a "skin" that holds the alloy in place while allowing it to retain its liquid properties.

"Because the alloy remains a liquid," Dickey says, "it takes on the mechanical properties of the material encasing it." For example, the researchers injected the alloy into elastic silicone channels, creating wirelike antennas that are incredibly resilient and that can be manipulated into a variety of shapes. "This flexibility is particularly attractive for antennas because the frequency of an antenna is determined by its shape," says Dickey. "So you can tune these antennas by stretching them."

While the alloy makes an effective antenna that could be used in a variety of existing electronic devices, its durability and flexibility also open the door to a host of new applications. For example, an antenna in a flexible silicone shell could be used to monitor civil construction, such as bridges. As the bridge expands and contracts, it would stretch the antenna changing the frequency of the antenna, and providing civil engineers information wirelessly about the condition of the bridge.

Flexibility and durability are also ideal characteristics for military equipment, since the antenna could be folded or rolled up into a small package for deployment and then unfolded again without any impact on its function. Dickey thinks these new applications are the most likely uses for the new antennas, since the alloy is more expensive than the copper typically used in most consumer electronics that contain antennas.


'/>"/>

Contact: Matt Shipman
matt_shipman@ncsu.edu
919-515-6386
North Carolina State University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. The cause behind the characteristic shape of a long leaf revealed
2. Slipper-shaped blood cells
3. Study shows how disruption of spectrin-actin network causes lens cells in the eye to lose shape
4. Worlds largest ocean observatory takes shape
5. Shape matters in the case of cobalt nanoparticles
6. New species of phallus-shaped mushroom named after California Academy of Sciences scientist
7. Geography and history shape genetic differences in humans
8. Breastfeeding duration and weaning diet may shape childs body composition
9. West Nile virus studies show how star-shaped brain cells cope with infection
10. Scripps research scientists watch as individual alpha-synuclein proteins change shape
11. RNA research strategy for Europe takes shape
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Shape shifters: Researchers create new breed of antennas
(Date:4/4/2017)... YORK , April 4, 2017   EyeLock ... today announced that the United States Patent and Trademark ... patent broadly covers the linking of an iris image ... same transaction) and represents the company,s 45 th ... latest patent is very timely given the multi-modal biometric ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... HONG KONG , March 30, 2017 ... developed a system for three-dimensional (3D) fingerprint identification by adopting ground ... technology into a new realm of speed and accuracy for use ... applications at an affordable cost. ... ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... 28, 2017 The report "Video ... Monitors, Servers, Storage Devices), Software (Video Analytics, VMS), and ... Global Forecast to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market ... is projected to reach USD 75.64 Billion by 2022, ... The base year considered for the study is 2016 ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/24/2017)... ... April 24, 2017 , ... It ... a cellular milieu; however, the broad application of this cellular target engagement concept ... sensitive quantitative readouts. Cell-based thermal stabilization assays are valuable methods for particular applications, ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... ... 2017 , ... The University of Connecticut, in partnership with ... startups through the UConn Innovation Fund. The $1.5 million UConn Innovation Fund was ... , The UConn Innovation Fund provides investments of up to $100,000 to companies ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... ... April 21, 2017 , ... Frederick Innovative Technology ... of emerging technology-based businesses, recently earned a $77,518 grant from the Rural Maryland ... in 2004, FITCI is Frederick’s first incubator. A non-profit corporation, FITCI is a ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... April 20, 2017 , ... USDM ... for the life sciences and healthcare industries, is pleased to announce Holger Braemer ... established USDM subsidiary “USDM Europe GmbH” based in Germany. , Braemer is an ...
Breaking Biology Technology: