We are developing ultra-compact antennas, where the antenna size is much smaller than the electromagnetic wavelength.
Pervasive wireless connectivity is a must for today’s interconnected world. Many MHz-GHz communication systems require antennas with physical sizes that can be much larger than the entire size of the system. It is difficult to achieve good antenna performance if the size of the antenna is less than 1/10ththe electromagnetic wavelength (e.g. minimum of 3 cm at 1 GHz)
Our breakthrough approach is radically different than traditional conductive-wire type antennas. Rather than relying on moving charge to enact antenna functionality, we make use of functional materials. Specifically magnetoelectric composite nanowires (strain-coupled piezoelectric + magnetostrictive materials) respond to an electromagnetic field by directly producing a voltage. This is material effect, rather than a purely electromagnetic effect. Additionally, the antenna performance can be dramatically enhanced by tuning the mechanical/acoustic resonance of the device to the target frequency band. The ability to make ultra-compact antennas, and potentially on-chip with integrated electronics could drastically reduce the size, weight, and power (SWAP) of multi-functional systems.