This letter presents the design, manufacturing, and operational performance of a graphene-flakes-based screen-printed wideband elliptical dipole antenna operating from 2 up to 5 GHz for low-cost wireless communications applications. To investigate radio frequency (RF) conductivity of the printed graphene, a coplanar waveguide (CPW) test structure was designed, fabricated, and tested in the frequency range from 1 to 20 GHz. Antenna and CPW were screen-printed on Kapton substrates using a graphene paste formulated with a graphene-to-binder ratio of 1:2. A combination of thermal treatment and subsequent compression rolling is utilized to further decrease the sheet resistance for printed graphene structures, ultimately reaching 4 Ω/□ at 10-μ m thicknesses. For the graphene-flakes printed antenna, an antenna efficiency of 60% is obtained. The measured maximum antenna gain is 2.3 dBi at 4.8 GHz. Thus, the graphene-flakes printed antenna adds a total loss of only 3.1 dB to an RF link when compared to the same structure screen-printed for reference with a commercial silver ink. This shows that the electrical performance of screen-printed graphene flakes, which also does not degrade after repeated bending, is suitable for realizing low-cost wearable RF wireless communication devices.
Heiner Friedrich (Manager), Rick Joosten (Gebruiker), Demi de Moor (Gebruiker), Pauline Schmit (Gebruiker), Ingeborg Schreur - Piet (Gebruiker), Anne Spoelstra (Gebruiker) & Nina Romme - van Moll (Inhoud)Materials and Interface Chemistry