Flexible, carbon nanotube antennas that can be painted on devices offer a metal-free improvement over traditional copper antennas.
The antennas were developed by a team from Rice University by dissolving single-walled nanotubes in an acid-based solution. The shear forces of the nanotubes caused them to self-align, resulting in a thin, flexible film able to equal the performance of metal antennas at target frequencies of 5, 10 and 14 gigahertz. The antenna is not only lighter than conventional devices, but also stronger and better able to handle extreme weather conditions.
The thin film antennas could have applications in 5g networks as well as in unmanned drones, drones, and future IoT devices.
Image by Jeff Fitlow - Rice University alumnus Amram Bengio holds a flexible nanotube film antenna. The antenna, which has proven as efficient as those made of copper wire, can essentially be painted onto devices.
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