This paper presents a time-domain, chipless-RFID system with 80-bit tags inkjet-printed on ordinary DIN A4 paper. The tags, consisting of a linear chain of resonant elements (with as many resonators as the number of identification bits plus header bits), are read sequentially and by proximity (through near-field coupling). To this end, a transmission line, fed by a harmonic (interrogation) signal tuned to the resonance frequency of the tag resonators (or close to it), is used as a reader. Thus, during reader operation, the tag chain is mechanically shifted over the transmission line so that the coupling between the line and the functional resonant elements of the tag chain is favored. Logic states that ‘1’ and ‘0’ are determined by the functionality and non-functionality (resonator detuning), respectively, of the resonant elements of the chain. Through near-field coupling, the transmission coefficient of the line is modulated and, as a result, the output signal is modulated in amplitude (AM), which is the identification code contained in the envelope function. As long as the tags are inkjet-printed on ordinary DIN A4 paper, the cost is minimal. Moreover, such tags can be easily programmed and erased, so that identical tags can be fabricated on a large scale (and programmed at a later stage), further reducing the cost of manufacture. The reported prototype tags, with 80 bits of information plus four header bits, demonstrate the potential of this approach, which is of particular interest to secure paper applications.
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