Optically Transparent Antennas and Arrays for Wireless Connectivity

Project: Research

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Transparent antennas offer the advantage of integrating antenna functionality on surfaces while preserving visibility. Their invisible characteristics enable them much more suitable for many common objects, such as windows, glass on buildings, windshield on vehicles, electronic screens. If more transparent antennas can be integrated into these already existing objects, the 5G mobile communications, Internet-of-Things and Vehicle-to-Vehicle communications can be efficiently deployed. Transparent material is the crucial component for realizing transparent antennas. Indium-tin-oxide (ITO) is a kind of transparent conductor film that has been employed to many planar antenna designs, including the patch antenna and monopole antenna. However, the relationship between the optical transparency and the film conductivity is a tradeoff which means that higher optical transparency will lead to smaller conductivity and lower radiation efficiency, vice versa. For most reported transparent patch antenna designs using transparent conductor films, the efficiency is usually less than 50%. The impedance bandwidth is commonly less than 20% and the optical transparency varies from 40% to 80%. The water patch antenna is a good candidate for realizing transparent antennas. It owns a wide bandwidth of over 30%, and almost 100% optical transparency. It is low in material cost and easy in fabrication. Preliminary studies on water patch antennas have been conducted by the principal investigator with several peer-reviewed papers published. Water patch antennas with broadside radiation mode, monopole-like radiation mode, linear polarization, and circular polarization have been demonstrated with acceptable performance. These preliminary results motivate further development of transparent antennas and arrays using water or liquid for future wireless systems. For achieving high antenna performance, water and liquid may be combined with transparent conductor films in the design process. The expected radiation characteristics include low profile, wide bandwidth, and high efficiency. The success of this project will greatly promote the applications of transparent antennas in various wireless systems. 


Project number9043366
Grant typeGRF
StatusNot started
Effective start/end date1/01/23 → …