Printed Electronics in Radiofrequency Energy Harvesters and Wireless Power Transfer Rectennas for IoT Applications

Advanced Electronic Materials, 9(8), 2300238 (2023)

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The Internet of Things is currently one of the fastest-growing branches in electronics. The development of energy storage systems and the miniaturization of dedicated printed circuit boards significantly influence that growth. However, the need for batteries and traditional printed circuit boards still limits devices’ minimum size, weight, and cost, narrowing the application area. Energy harvesters and wireless power transfer systems fabricated with printed electronics can significantly reduce such devices’ weight, size, and cost. Printed electronics technology provides scalable tools for many electronics applications, shortening the validation time and enabling new low-cost or disposable solutions on lightweight and flexible substrates embedded inside 3D printed structures and directly on device housings. Energy harvesting and wireless power transfer systems in electronic devices can provide enough power to minimize battery capacity and size or even eliminate the need for batteries in low-power applications. This review presents an adaptation of printed electronics technology in the fabrication of radio frequency energy harvesters and wireless power transfer rectennas for IoT applications. Last, perspectives for development towards greater integration with microsystems, transient electronics with ecofriendly materials, adaptation for next-generation telecommunication systems, and 3D structural electronics solutions are briefly discussed.