ITTC Project

Effects of Conductivity, Thickness, and Width on UHF RFID Tag Antenna Efficiency

Project Award Date: 08-09-2006


An RFID microchip attached to an antenna is embedded between layers of laminated paper or plastic foil, creating inlays or unfinished RFID labels. Traditionally, inlays have been constructed from etched copper or aluminum. Etching is a subtractive process and uses chemicals that are difficult to dispose.

Newer inlays are being created using printed silver-based inks, including those from Symbol and RSI ID. Printing is an additive process, so it has a number of advantages. However, silver suffers from two important drawbacks. First, the conductivity of printable inks are less than that of copper, and thus antennas may be less efficient (especially for tags designed to work near metal). Second, silver is considered a heavy metal and may pose an environmental problem. Those concerns have spurred developments in other additive technologies, such as vapor- deposited aluminum, and electroplated and electro-less copper.

ITTC researchers will measure the performance of antennas with various conductive materials and thicknesses and establish the ideal free-space thickness of copper.


Faculty Investigator(s): Daniel Deavours (PI), Kenneth Demarest

Student Investigator(s): Afzal Syed

Project Sponsors

Primary Sponsor(s): MacDermid, Inc.

Partner with ITTC

The Information and Telecommunication Technology Center at the University of Kansas has developed several assistance policies that enhance interactions between the Center and local, Kansas, or national companies. 

ITTC assistance includes initial free consulting (normally one to five hours). If additional support is needed, ITTC will offer one of the following approaches: 

Sponsored Research Agreement

Individuals and organizations can enter into agreements with KUCR/ITTC and provide funds for sponsored research to be performed at ITTC with the assistance of faculty, staff and students.

Licensing and Royalty/Equity Agreement

An ITTC goal is the development of investment-grade technologies for transfer to, and marketing by, local, Kansas, and national businesses. To enhance this process, the Center has developed flexible policies that allow for licensing, royalty, and equity arrangements to meet both the needs of ITTC and the company.

Commercialization Development

Companies with a technology need that can be satisfied with ITTC's resources can look to us for assistance. We can develop a relationship with interested partners that will provide for the development of a technology suited for commercialization.

ITTC Resource Access

ITTC resources, including computers and software systems, may be made available to Kansas companies in accordance with the Center's mission and applicable Regents and University policies.

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