Date of Award

2019

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering (MSEE)

Department

Electrical, Computer, and Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Kunal Mankodiya

Abstract

In the era of ubiquitous computing objects connected to the Internet are increasing day by day. Near Field Communication (NFC) is a perfect example of ubiquitous computing that is secure, short-range, low powered contactless communication. Powerless, single-tapping NFC tag is growing in popularity. Massive demand for NFC requires to study implementing this fast-growing technology onto different materials and places.

In this research study, NFC implementation on flexible material is investigated with different types of materials. NFC antennas were designed with mathematical modeling. Simulation for NFC coil inductance calculation was performed and was verified with mathematical modeling. The NFC antenna was fabricated, and verified according to mathematical modeling and simulation.

NFC antenna has several design parameters on which coil inductance is dependent. In this thesis, these major design parameters are considered, and a factorial design of experiment was conducted to observe which parameters have a substantial effect on the response, i.e., considered here as the read range. After the factorial design of the experiment, it was found that size is the most critical parameter for NFC tag antenna design. Two-way interactions of turn and thickness had the second most significant effect on the read range. Three-way interaction of size, turn, and thickness was the top most influential parameter on the read range. A comparison of available industrial NFC antennas with our fabricated antennas was performed and noticed that our longer sized NFC antennas had a higher reading distance than commercially available tags. The factorial design verifies this comparison result as it depicts size is one of the three main contributing factors of NFC antenna designing parameters. Besides those experiments, another investigation was conducted from the user standpoint to perceive a user’s convenience when using the NFC antennas in posters, and a comparison between two smart posters was concluded. We found that for our NFC poster, 95.5% of users had experienced the longer detection range, and 63.6% of the users believed that our NFC poster had a quicker response. The average NFC poster connection time of the commercial tag was 4.25 seconds, whereas our NFC poster took an average time of 2.04 seconds to connect.

All of the experiments and findings in the thesis illustrate that NFC antennas in flexible materials open up a new area of research which enables everyday connectivity with different materials with the smartphone. Furthermore, this type of research enables interdisciplinary research work that requires a combination of antenna and material science research work and commences advanced antenna technology developments towards next-generation mobile wireless communication systems.

Available for download on Friday, July 31, 2020

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