Printed antennas: from theory to praxis, challenges and applications
Miniaturized, highly integrated wireless communication systems are used in many fields like logistics and mobile communications. Often multiple antenna structures are integrated in a single product. To achieve such a high level of integration the antenna structures are manufactured e.g. from flexible boards or via LDS (laser direct structuring) which allows the production of complex monopole or dipole antennas with three-dimensionally curved shapes. Main drawbacks are the sophisticated production process steps and their costs. The additive deposition of metallic inks or pastes by a printing process is an alternative manufacturing method with reduced cost.
To implement such printed antennas we investigated in the fields of antenna design, simulation, printing technology and characterization. The chosen example of use was a customized dipole antenna for a Radio Frequency Identification application. The results prove the intended functionality of the printed dipole in regard to a highly cost efficient printing manufacturing.