Challenges in Low-Cost Inkjet Antennas

Karaosmanoglu, Bariscan
Ciftci, Tolga
Ergül, Özgür Salih
Inkjet antennas that are based on inkjet printing on paper and similar substrates have recently attracted great interest due to their low costs, flexibility, and environment-friendly properties (A. Rida, L. Yang, R. Vyas, and M. M. Tentzeris, IEEE Antennas Propag. Mag., 51, 2009, pp. 13–1056). In addition to special-purpose material printers that are designed particularly for metallic printing, one can use silver-based inks in ordinary desktop printers for producing such antennas. This study is devoted to this second class of inkjet antennas, emphasizing major challenges encountered in their manufacture, as well as their combinations with microchips for passive tags in radio-frequency identification (RFID) systems. Considering the production of a few hundred tags (small-scale manufacturing), the cost of each tag is around 1.5 USD including the printers, silver inks, and microchips.