TUTCRIS - Tampereen teknillinen yliopisto


New Additive Manufacturing Solutions and Novel Materials for UHF RFID Tag Antennas and Interconnections



KustantajaTampere University of Technology
ISBN (elektroninen)978-952-15-4162-9
ISBN (painettu)978-952-15-4150-6
TilaJulkaistu - 1 kesäkuuta 2018
OKM-julkaisutyyppiG5 Artikkeliväitöskirja


NimiTampere University of Technology. Publication
ISSN (painettu)1459-2045


In the recent years, radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology has been widely integrated into application in modern society including as a successor to the barcode in the retail supply chain, remote monitoring, automatic detection, and smart healthcare. Looking ahead to the future, our lives will be surrounded by small, embedded and wireless electronic devices that provide information about everything for everybody in real time. At the core of this vision lie two key concepts: ubiquitous sensing and the Internet of Things. RFID technology is seen as one of the most prominent technologies of today for the implementation of these future concepts.

This thesis investigates the possibilities of additive manufacturing (AM) methods, mainly inkjet printing and 3D direct write (DW) dispensing, for establishing passive ultra high frequency (UHF) RFID tags on novel eco-friendly substrates, such as paper, cardboard, wood, and textile. The selected conductive inks in this study are nanoparticle silver ink, graphene ink, and stretchable silver ink.

The antenna-integrated circuit (IC) interconnection is also important in this study, as it influences the wireless performance of RFID tags by changing the impedance matching between IC and antenna. Thus, RFID tags with various IC attachment methods were evaluated to achieve better wireless performance and to simplify the fabrication procedure. In addition, considering the actual use situations, the possibilities of RFID tags used in harsh environment, such as in high moisture conditions and under repeated mechanical stress, are very essential in this study.

Most of the established tags in the thesis show excellent performance and achieve the requirements of a number of modern RFID applications, such as supply chain, wearable biomedical sensing, and environment monitoring. Especially promising are the stretchable 3D DW dispensed silver tags, which have a peak read range of around 10 meters. When integrated into textile substrates, these tags have countless applications in wearable wireless platforms. Moreover, environment-friendly graphene inks show great potential to replace the high cost metallic inks in the future, as graphene tags showed excellent wireless performance in this study. In terms of reliability, by using a stretchable silver conductor, 3D DW dispensed RFID tags with embroidered antenna-IC interconnections achieve high reliability during actual use situations of clothing-integrated wireless components, including stretching, bending and immersing.

The results of this thesis create new paths for the production of environment-friendly electronics. They are especially useful for the RFID sector, as well as clothing-integrated electronics, wireless sensor networks (WSN), and packaging industries.

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