With the rollout of 5G necessitating more antennas, have performance and design requirements finally exceeded the capabilities provided by existing antenna materials? If antennas could be made transparent, escaping the bounds of an enclosure, they could “hide in plain sight” or be adhered to the outside of existing devices to overcome the challenges of new applications. Better yet, this new material could deliver equal or better performance to traditional materials as to not require the rationalization of design tradeoffs typically found with new materials.
CHASM TRANSPARENT ANTENNAS
When antennas need to be everywhere, how can they be seen nowhere? Engineers know successfully implementing emerging technologies such as 5G or Wi-Fi 6 will require more antennas closer to people, but achieving this level of aerial density brings not only visual blight but security concerns. For antenna and RF engineers implementing any technology reliant on wireless connectivity, there’s a new technology for keeping antennas out of sight and out of mind – without compromising performance.
Despite increasing interest in advanced wireless technologies such as 5G and Wi-Fi 6, enterprises and organizations are slow on the uptake. The enticement of dramatic performance improvements such as faster speeds, lower latency, increased data capacity, and broader devise types at greater density have yet to overcome reservations due to risks and uncertainties including the constantly evolving 5G standard, multiple 5G spectrums, multicarrier requirements indoors, very high densities of increasing device types, new commercial ways of selling network capabilities such as “network slicing”, or new use cases and user types. Enterprises and organizations desire connecting employees, machines and customers wirelessly for innovative technologies including AI, AR, V, IoT, Cloud, XaaS, Smart-buildings and Edge Computing that are perceived as foundational to transforming their businesses – all of which necessitating more higher bandwidth connections to the network with greater robustness (and many more of them). IOT antennas made from CHASM’s AgeNT platform invisibly solves the density issue across all of these advanced wireless applications.
Optimizing antenna design isn’t merely a function of achieving the desired frequency spectrum. Antenna shape, material composition, or placement within an enclosure can impact performance and ultimate success of the end device employing the antenna. Even the required frequency can present challenges for engineers to overcome. For example, the roll out of 5G wireless offers performance benefits for consumers but creates technical challenges for carriers. The same millimeter wave technology enabling higher frequencies also creates interference problems with obstacles such as buildings, trees, and even rain. More flexible antennas closer to points of use are needed to ensure line of site connections to users. The unique properties of our AgeNT transparent Nanotube Hybrid material enabled a national wireless carrier to deploy municipal Wi-Fi using transparent 5G antennas that unobtrusively blend in with their surroundings.
NANOTUBE HYBRIDS FOR FLEXIBLE ANTENNAS
A Nanotube Hybrid is the deliberate combination of carbon nanotubes and another element such as carbon, graphite, silver or copper to unlock entirely new properties and performance characteristics. CHASM uses proprietary processes to create Nanotube Hybrids using our industry leading, premium single wall carbon nanotubes. Manufactured in the USA, the resulting Nanotube Hybrids are applied in precise ways to make ordinary industrial and consumer products do extraordinary things.
When used for printed electronics, nanotube hybrids enable product designers and engineers to create transparent and flexible iOT antennas that can be seamlessly added to lights or windows or even applied to screen displays or automobile windows, creating invisibly located flexible antennas where they can provide optimal performance with minimal negative visual impact.
NANOTUBE HYBRID IOT ANTENNA BENEFITS
Transparent iOT antennas made using AgeNT films offer performance equal or better to traditional copper antennas. Flexible, formable and approximately 103 µm in thickness, AgeNT transparent antennas are easy to apply to windows, overhead lighting or even on the outside of enclosures to unobtrusively blend into the surroundings delivering maximum performance. Fabricated using cost-effective and readily available screen printing, AgeNT flexible antennas require minimal tooling investment, support quick design turns and rapid scale to production levels through an ample selection of available fabricators.
Benefits of Nanotube Hybrids for Flexible Antenna :
- Sheet resistance 1 ohm/sq
- 90% transparent
- Flexible, thermoformable for wider range of product designs
- Screen Printable: Quick turnaround on design changes and prototypes; just-in-time production runs
- Lower design cost and lower unit cost, no need for laser ablation, deposition and patterning
AgeNT PRODUCT DESCRIPTION
AgeNT™ transparent conductive films are flexible and formable with low pattering costs and superior optoelectronic performance of low sheet resistance at high transparency. Leading companies across multiple industries have successfully launched their next generation innovations using transparent touch sensors and buttons, heaters, antennas, and EMI shielding films made from advanced Nanotube Hybrid materials only available from CHASM. Comprised of a nanoscale copper metal mesh on a transparent plastic substrate, any desired antenna patterns are screen printed using CHASM’s proprietary ink. Two models of AgeNT-1 are readily available offering transparency of 95% VLT with a sheet resistance of 1.0 Ω/□ or transparency of 85% VLT with a sheet resistance of 0.2 Ω/□.
Transparent Antennas: Out of Sight, Out of Mind
How a new transparent antenna material delivers peace of mind solving wireless design challenges of 5G, IoT and automotive safety systems. IoT device designers are going to be faced with additional challenges. People, at least to some extent, expect computers and computing devices to be "boxy"...even ugly. Their appliances, lighting fixtures, and other home furnishings....another story entirely. To bridge the gap between technology and the human lifestyle will require the technology component to be invisible.