A Monolithically Integrable Reconfigurable Antenna Based on Large-Area Electronics

Can Wu, Yue Ma, Suresh Venkatesh, Yoni Mehlman, Murat Ozatay, Sigurd Wagner, James C. Sturm, Naveen Verma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Reconfigurable antennas introduce unique and dynamic system capabilities for wireless communication and sensing, by enabling controllable radiation pattern, frequency response, and polarization of electromagnetic (EM) waves. The antenna's physical dimensions are critical to enhancing control of radiative characteristics, making it necessary to distribute RF control devices across a large-area aperture. Previous reconfigurable antennas have been limited in scale and performance by the need to assemble discrete active components. Large-area electronics (LAE) is a technology that can enable monolithic reconfigurable antennas, with flexible and large form factors. However, conventionally the speed of LAE, specifically of thin-film transistors (TFTs), has been restricted to 10-100 MHz. In this work, a reconfigurable antenna based on LAE RF TFTs is achieved through a combination of: 1) materials and device enhancements pushing fundamental TFT performance metrics to the giga-Hertz regime and 2) an architecture that employs the TFTs as passive switches, rather than active amplifiers, to enable aggressive biasing for high-frequency operation, yet within the breakdown limits. A 9 times 9 cm2 reconfigurable antenna consisting of an 11 times 11 array of metal patches as sub-radiators controlled by 208 TFT-based RF switches is demonstrated. Far-field and S -parameter measurements show reconfigured beam steering by 90° and resonant-frequency tuning by 200 MHz.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1475-1485
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits
Volume59
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Keywords

  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • large-area electronics (LAE)
  • reconfigurable antenna
  • thin-film transistor (TFT)
  • wireless sensing

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