Novel remote sensor systems: Design, prototyping, and characterization


We have designed and tested a prototype TRL4 radio-frequency (RF) sensing platform containing a transceiver that interrogates a passive carbon nanotube (CNT)-based sensor platform. The transceiver can be interfaced to a server technology such as a Bluetooth® or Wi-Fi device for further connectivity. The novelty of a very-low-frequency (VLF) implementation in the transceiver design will ultimately enable deep penetration into the ground or metal structures to communicate with buried sensing platforms. The sensor platform generally consists of printed electronic devices made of CNTs on flexible poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) and Kapton® substrates. This novel remote sensing system can be integrated with both passive and active sensing platforms. It offers unique characteristics suitable for a variety of sensing applications. The proposed sensing platforms can take on different form factors and the RF output of the sensing platforms could be modulated by humidity, temperature, pressure, strain, or vibration signals. Resonant structures were designed and constructed to operate in the very-high-frequency (VHF) and VLF ranges. In this presentation, we will report results of our continued effort to develop a commercially viable transceiver capable of interrogating the conformally mounted sensing platforms made from CNTs or silver-based nanomaterials on polyimide substrates over a broad range of frequencies. The overall performance of the sensing system with different sensing elements and at different frequency ranges will be discussed.


Physics, Astronomy, and Materials Science

Document Type

Conference Proceeding



Carbon nanotube sensors, CNT resonator sensors, Single-walled CNTs, Wireless sensor systems

Publication Date


Journal Title

Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering