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Airbrush-sprayed antennas spurring innovation in IoT

The internet of things is basically the utilization of network sensors in physical devices to enable easy remote monitoring and control. IoT is one of those technologies that has attained huge traction over a short period of time, and only continues to grow. IoT is being used in a variety of fields including banks, healthcare, retail and consumer goods, among others. Companies across the globe are also creating newer ways to integrate IoT. From small-sized startups to big-sized established firms, every company is trying to make the most of IoT. By 2025, the worldwide worth of IoT is anticipated to touch the $6.2 trillion mark.

Use of antennas in IoT

In IoT, radio frequency antennas are used widely. These antennas act as the base of the networks; the functionality of antennas is most important for the proper working of IoT. These antennas not only have to be developed properly, but they also have to be integrated with precision. Even a little bit of a problem in the antennas can lead to disruption of the network. Therefore, IoT experts have to take proper measures to maintain the standard of such antennas.

Inception of sprayed antennas

Companies are now trying to make antennas easier with the help of a simple, one-step spray-on technique, developed by scholars at Drexel University. Whether it is the tens of nanometers of antennas or some microns, all of these antennas are made using titanium carbide — the same material that is linked to 2D transition metal carbides. Nitrides here are recognized as the MXenes. In MXenes, M stands for the early transition metal, which can be titanium, molybdenum, vanadium or niobium; X stands for either carbon or nitrogen.

This particular coating is capable of transmitting radio waves smoothly, and it can direct the waves irrespective of the thickness of the coating. This implies that the coating can be easily sprayed onto a wide range of items and surfaces, from solid objects to flexible ones. And it can be done without adding any extra weight or circuitry.

How are sprayed antennas helpful for IoT?

The method of spray-on antennas is done to improve antenna performance. With this technique, it is easy to make antennas optically transparent. Now there could be more space available to set up networks. At the same time, there will be a plenty of new apps and cutting-edge techniques of gathering information — some of these latest techniques can’t even be anticipated at the moment. It is also believed that flexibility will enable integration with more objects. This technique will also make integration with various metals, like aluminum and copper, a lot more convenient. In other words, spray-on antennas are only going to make the complete process a lot more useful, as well as improve the performance of the complete IoT network. Therefore, it is important to consider this technique to be one of the most useful, and a great way to boost IoT.


The spray-on antenna technique can be used to improve the performance of antennas without any hurdles. As such, sprayed antennas can turn out to be extremely beneficial. And, in the near future we might see the expanding of these types of antennas.

All IoT Agenda network contributors are responsible for the content and accuracy of their posts. Opinions are of the writers and do not necessarily convey the thoughts of IoT Agenda.

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