Spray-On Antennas and The Future of Networks

Highly conductive spray-on antennas created by Drexel University researchers could change the future of antenna installation, Network World reported. Drexel researchers say the technology is easier to install and overall more efficient than current metal antennas, claiming the introduction of this spray would accelerate Internet of Things (IoT) deployments. The product can be sprayed on almost any surface, such as walls, windows, or flexible objects.

Drexel University sent out a release on the new technology saying, “Installing an antenna [could be] as easy as applying some bug spray.”

According to Network World, this spray is a paint made by dissolving titanium carbide compounds in water. In 2011, Drexel University invented MXene, which uses a science that creates titanium carbide compounds by bringing together water-dissolving components and conductive metal. The result is this manmade “spray,” which is an extremely thin substance that is then sprayed onto any surface using an airbrush.

This development could revolutionize the construction of networks. Metal antennas are limited to certain installation sites, and this spray could open up many more possibilities for that.

“The ability to spray an antenna on a flexible substrate or make it optically transparent means that we could have a lot of new places to set up networks,” said Kapil Dandekar, co-author of the research. Network hardware would also weigh much less using this spray, since it is only a few nanometers thick once applied according to Dandekar. Comments? Email us.

October 10, 2018

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