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Carbon Nanotube Thin-Film Antennas

Puchades, Ivan, Rossi, Jamie E., Cress, Cory D., Naglich, Eric, Landi, Brian J.
ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2016 v.8 no.32 pp. 20986-20992
carbon nanotubes, electrical conductivity, equations
Multiwalled carbon nanotube (MWCNT) and single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) dipole antennas have been successfully designed, fabricated, and tested. Antennas of varying lengths were fabricated using flexible bulk MWCNT sheet material and evaluated to confirm the validity of a full-wave antenna design equation. The ∼20× improvement in electrical conductivity provided by chemically doped SWCNT thin films over MWCNT sheets presents an opportunity for the fabrication of thin-film antennas, leading to potentially simplified system integration and optical transparency. The resonance characteristics of a fabricated chlorosulfonic acid-doped SWCNT thin-film antenna demonstrate the feasibility of the technology and indicate that when the sheet resistance of the thin film is >40 ohm/sq no power is absorbed by the antenna and that a sheet resistance of <10 ohm/sq is needed to achieve a 10 dB return loss in the unbalanced antenna. The dependence of the return loss performance on the SWCNT sheet resistance is consistent with unbalanced metal, metal oxide, and other CNT-based thin-film antennas, and it provides a framework for which other thin-film antennas can be designed.