Context : The smart city concept seeks to alleviate urban challenges including infrastructure and network capacity. The frequencies proposed for the upcoming 5G network would result in shorter broadcast distances and network dead zones.
Additional access points and signal repeaters, embedded into existing infrastructure, help mitigate these issues through embedding transparent antennas into the windows by means of transparent conductors (TCs).
This advance will have also a favourable impact on the networking of IoT devices with short range communication as BLE, NFC or IEEE standards and LR-WPANs protocols.
Transparent antennas possess, however a major challenge : low gain. The technology and processes that make an opaque antenna transparent contribute to the inefficiency of the antenna via more resistive materials, thinner conductive materials, or meshing effects.
These inefficiency decreases the antenna gain, limiting the efficacy of the antenna. This lower gain can be countered by means of employing antennas in array structure and / or by optimizing the thin film deposition process to improve the conductivity.
In this context, we propose the development and the testing in our facilities of antenna prototypes addressing this challenge.
LIST cleanroom facilities : The Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology proposes a platform with complementary tools for the development of thin film processes (ALD, CVD, PVD) and microfabrication (UV laser and e-beam lithographies) facilities to realize functional chips with dedicated instrumentation.
The platform allows to process various types of inorganic or organic substrates, flat or 3D objects, flexible substrates and powders by FBR (Fluidized Bed Reactor) with up-scaling capabilities.
The platform covers the requests and specifications from fundamental Research partners on breakthrough materials to the development and small production processing for industrial partners.
Past, ongoing and future projects in the LIST cleanroom concern research and development projects addressing microsystems for sensors (strain sensors, gas sensors), energy harvesters, TCs for transparent electronics, fillers’ coating for composites.
Mission : We are currently running projects about the realization of new nanotechnology based sensors and generators with IoT capabilities by the means of low power wireless communication modules.
The challenges of the internship work will be the design and the fabrication of a high gain passive transparent antenna for wireless communication compatible with the autonomous sensors units developed in the team.
The student will have also the possibility to participate in field testing of the antenna prototype. The applications concern industrial market.
Skills / Qualifications