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printed October 20, 2017
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Innovative New Wireless Antenna is Dramatically Smaller

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Aug 24, 2017, 1:56 PM   by Rich Brome   @rbrome

Researchers at Northeastern University have demonstrated a new type of radio antenna that operates in the frequencies used for some cellular networks and Wi-Fi, but is up to 100 times smaller than current antenna designs. The new antenna can be manufactured on a single chip approximately 1mm across. It receives radio signals by first converting radio waves to acoustic waves, then to electrical signals, and the same in reverse for transmitting. The existing method of converting directly between radio and electrical signals requires an antenna with a physical length 1/10 the radio wavelength. The new technique uses the properties of acoustic waves to permit an antenna made of a piezomagnetic membrane that's just 1/1000 the physical length of the radio wavelength. The piezomagnetic material is joined with a piezoelectric material to create the necessary electrical link. The technology could shrink the size of phones and wearables. It may also open up lower frequencies — which today require antennas too large to carry around — to mobile devices.

more info at Science »

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