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Christopher L. Holloway, Aydin Babajgabni, Chris Long, David R. Novotny, Nate Orloff, E. A. Bengio, Damir Senic, Lauren W. Taylor, Dimitri E. Tsentalovich


Although previous research has explored the underlying theory of high-frequency behavior of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and CNT bundles for antennas, there is a gap in the literature for direct experimental measurements of radiation efficiency. These measurements are crucial for any practical application of CNT materials in wireless communication. In this letter we report a novel measurement technique to accurately characterize the radiation efficiency of /4 monopole antennas made from CNT thread. We measured the highest absolute values of radiation efficiency in the literature for CNT antennas of any type, matching that of copper wire, and newly proposed specific radiation efficiency values over an order of magnitude higher. These measurements were performed at 1 GHz and 2.4 GHz. We also report the first direct experimental observation that, contrary to metals, the radiation efficiency of the CNT thread improves significantly at higher frequencies. A heuristic model of antenna radiation efficiency is developed and briefly discussed to explain this behavior. These results pave the way for practical applications of CNT thread antennas, particularly in the aerospace and wearable electronics industries where weight saving is a priority.
Applied Physics Letters


carbon nanotubes, fibers, antennas, wearable electronics, radiation efficiency, Wi-Fi


Holloway, C. , Babajgabni, A. , Long, C. , Novotny, D. , Orloff, N. , Bengio, E. , Senic, D. , Taylor, L. and Tsentalovich, D. (2017), HIGH EFFICIENCY CARBON NANOTUBE THREAD ANTENNAS, Applied Physics Letters, [online], (Accessed April 19, 2024)
Created November 2, 2017, Updated October 12, 2021