and identifying metal objects can prove difficult for some radio
frequency identification (RFID) systems. A patent-pending technology
developed by a research team at the Center for Nanoscale Science and
Engineering (CNSE) at North Dakota State University, Fargo, could solve
these RFID tracking problems. The antennaless RFID tag developed at CNSE
could help companies track products as varied as barrels of oil to
metal cargo containers.
typical RFID tag is made up of an integrated circuit (IC) and an
antenna. While there are different types of tags available, many don’t
work well on metal objects or on containers filled with liquid. Previous
attempts to solve this problem have resulted in bulky tags that are
easily destroyed by routine handling. Researchers at the NDSU Center for
Nanoscale Science and Engineering have developed a patent-pending novel
approach, with an antennaless RFID tag, allowing for an inexpensive and
manufacturable product tracking solution that meets EPCglobal
CNSE research team includes Cherish Bauer-Reich, research engineer; Dr.
Michael Reich, senior research engineer; and undergraduate electrical
engineering student Layne Berge. The group’s research will be presented
at the 2012 IEEE International Workshop on Antenna Technology
(iWAT-2012) to be held March 5-7, in Tucson, Ariz., with presenters
from more than 15 countries expected to participate in the event. The
research presentation titled “Low-profile, high-permeability antennaless
RFID tags for use on metal objects” is scheduled for March 5.
RFID tags that are to be used on metal objects are made by placing an
antenna on a spacer, making them between 0.5 and 3 cm thick, depending
on the type of tag,” said Cherish Bauer-Reich, research engineer. Such
tags can be easily damaged because they stick out so far. The tags
developed by NDSU CNSE are less than 3 mm thick and are placed directly
on the metal, or could be recessed into the surface of a metal
tags we’ve developed actually use the metal container as an antenna,
rather than having to make and place another antenna on top of the
container,” said Bauer-Reich. “Many types of tags have to be spaced away
from metal, since it changes the electromagnetic fields around the tags
and destroys their ability to communicate. These tags, however, use the
metal container as the antenna to transmit information. Because of this
unique property, these tags can be used to tag anything from coffee
cans at a grocery store to barrels of oil or metal cargo containers,
with minimal concern about losing or damaging the tag.”
materials divert current into the tag’s integrated circuit. Tags using
high-permeability materials in such a way are significantly thinner than
those developed using other methods.
antennaless RFID tag technology developed at NDSU CNSE was developed
with support under Grant Number N00189-10-C-Z055, awarded by the U.S.
Department of Defense, Office of Naval Research.
patent-pending technology is available for licensing/partnering
opportunities through the NDSU Research Foundation.