Conformal Printed Graphene Antennas for Wireless Communication and Applications

  • Xinyao Zhou

Student thesis: Phd


For keeping abreast with the steps of wireless communication system development, especially for 5G, antennas that can transmit signals at higher rate and are compatible for different frequency ranges, especially MIMO (multiple-input multiple-output), array and multi-band antennas, have been continuously researched with high expectations. These new generation antennas should be able to efficiently improve data rate, transmission speed and channel capacity, as well as fit in the IoE mass applications. To maximize the integration viability of 5G wireless architectures, the flexibility and conformity of next-generation electronics as well as the environmental amity of their materials and related fabrications are the essential features to achieve a more robust and reliable revolutionized end-user experience. Among all the flexible conductive materials, graphene has surpassed others for its excellent flexibility, conductivity, low cost and strength, been proved a strong candidate for next generation indispensable soft electronics in wireless communication and sensing applications. However, the research of graphene is still at the beginning state. A number of issues still need to be addressed, such as: complicated structures of different kinds of antennas need to be specially designed to enhance the gain and cope with the loss introduced by graphene material comparing to normal metal; a more sustainable method should be investigated bypassing toxic solvents, complex fabrication, expensive materials, and high temperature annealing; the conductivity and stability of the ink should be improved; large-scale and affordable fabrication process is also in urgent need, where lies the novelty of the work: an aggregation of different antenna technologies and graphene printing electronics, enabling cheap accessible and green antennas with high performance to be massively integrated in IoT applications. In this thesis, different designs of antennas, i.e., MIMO, array, dual- and tri- bands, RFID tag antennas, with excellent radiation performance and flexibility have been integrated with low-cost, biodegradable printed graphene technique to conquer the most concerned surge in electronic waste caused by the mass production of antennas spurred by the significant deployment of IoE applications. These specially designed sustainable antennas provide strong support of 5G wireless communication mass data throughput and high performance IoT applications, guaranteeing high-speed data transmission and system reliability, and can be easily applied in flexible 5G front ends, various IoT systems, as well as in next-generation wearable electronic devices. In addition, this dissertation has successfully investigated and explored a low-cost sustainable way for fabricating screen-printing graphene inks with high conductivity, presenting the novel aggregation of high-quality graphene printing technology and large-scale industrial production of flexible electronic devices in microwave region.
Date of Award1 Aug 2022
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorEmad Alsusa (Supervisor) & Zhirun Hu (Supervisor)


  • Antenna
  • conformal
  • MIMO antenna
  • IoT applications
  • Array antenna
  • printed electronics

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