Carbon Nanotube Thin Film Patch Antennas for Wireless Communications
E. A. Bengio, Damir Senic, Lauren W. Taylor, Robert J. Headrick, Michael King, Peiyu Chen, Charles A. Little, John M. Ladbury, Christian J. Long, Christopher L. Holloway, Aydin Babakhani, James C. Booth, Nathan D. Orloff
Early work on carbon nanotube (CNT) antennas indicated that their performance could not match that of metals such as copper. However, recent improvements in fluid phase CNT processing have yielded macroscopic CNT materials with better alignment and conductivity. In this study, we carry out radiation efficiency measurements of microstrip patch antennas made from shear-aligned CNT films. We measure 94% radiation efficiency at 10 GHz and 14 GHz, matching equivalent copper antennas. The minimum CNT film thickness required to match copper drops with increasing frequency. We show that these CNT antennas retain their performance at high power (33 W) and high temperature (100 °C) conditions. These findings pave the way for applications of aligned CNT patch antennas in the aerospace industry, where low weight, mechanical durability and temperature-independent performance are critically important.