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Materials 2018, 11(1), 67; doi:10.3390/ma11010067

A Novel Manufacturing Process for Compact, Low-Weight and Flexible Ultra-Wideband Cavity Backed Textile Antennas

Department of Information Technology, Ghent University/imec, Technologiepark-Zwijnaarde 15, 9052 Ghent, Belgium
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Jan Vanfleteren, Fu Hsiang Ko, Chih-Feng Wang and Frederick Bossuyt
Received: 29 November 2017 / Revised: 21 December 2017 / Accepted: 27 December 2017 / Published: 3 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stretchable and Flexible Electronic Materials & Devices)
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Abstract

A novel manufacturing procedure for the fabrication of ultra-wideband cavity-backed substrate integrated waveguide antennas on textile substrates is proposed. The antenna cavity is constructed using a single laser-cut electrotextile patch, which is folded around the substrate. Electrotextile slabs protruding from the laser-cut patch are then vertically folded and glued to form the antenna cavity instead of rigid metal tubelets to implement the vertical cavity walls. This approach drastically improves mechanical flexibility, decreases the antenna weight to slightly more than 1 g and significantly reduces alignment errors. As a proof of concept, a cavity-backed substrate integrated waveguide antenna is designed and realized for ultra-wideband operation in the [5.15–5.85] GHz band. Antenna performance is validated in free space as well as in two on body measurement scenarios. Furthermore, the antenna’s figures of merit are characterized when the prototype is bent at different curvature radii, as commonly encountered during deployment on the human body. Also the effect of humidity content on antenna performance is studied. In all scenarios, the realized antenna covers the entire operating frequency band, meanwhile retaining a stable radiation pattern with a broadside gain above 5 dBi, and a radiation efficiency of at least 70%. View Full-Text
Keywords: wearable antennas; ultra-wideband (UWB); textile antennas; substrate integrated waveguide (SIW); Internet of Things (IoT); flexible electronics; body centric communication wearable antennas; ultra-wideband (UWB); textile antennas; substrate integrated waveguide (SIW); Internet of Things (IoT); flexible electronics; body centric communication
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Van Baelen, D.; Lemey, S.; Verhaevert, J.; Rogier, H. A Novel Manufacturing Process for Compact, Low-Weight and Flexible Ultra-Wideband Cavity Backed Textile Antennas. Materials 2018, 11, 67.

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