Feasibility of Ambient RF Energy Harvesting for Self-Sustainable M2M Communications Using Transparent and Flexible Graphene Antennas
Journal article, 2016

Lifetime is a critical parameter in ubiquitous, battery-operated sensors for machine-to-machine (M2M) communication systems, an emerging part of the future Internet of Things. In this practical article, the performance of radio frequency (RF) to DC energy converters using transparent and flexible rectennas based on graphene in an ambient RF energyharvesting scenario is evaluated. Full-wave EM simulations of a dipole antenna assuming the reported state-of-the-art sheet resistance for few-layer, transparent graphene yields an estimated ohmic efficiency of 5 %. In the power budget calculation, the low efficiency of transparent graphene antennas is an issue because of the relatively low amount of available ambient RF energy in the frequency bands of interest, which together sets an upper limit on the harvested energy available for the RF-powered device. Using a commercial diode rectifier and an off-the-shelf wireless system for sensor communication, the graphene-based solution provides only a limited battery lifetime extension. However, for ultra-low-power technologies currently at the research stage, more advantageous ambient energy levels, or other use cases with infrequent data transmission, graphene-based solutions may be more feasible.

Energy harvesting

machine-to-machine communcations


flexible electronics




Chalmers, Microtechnology and Nanoscience (MC2), Terahertz and Millimetre Wave Laboratory

Ayca Ozcelikkale

Chalmers, Signals and Systems, Signal Processing and Biomedical Engineering

Martin Johansson


Ulrika Engström


Andrei Vorobiev

Chalmers, Microtechnology and Nanoscience (MC2), Terahertz and Millimetre Wave Laboratory

Jan Stake

Chalmers, Microtechnology and Nanoscience (MC2), Terahertz and Millimetre Wave Laboratory

IEEE Access

2169-3536 (ISSN)

Vol. 4 5850-5857

RF energy harvesting for M2M communication

VINNOVA (2015-01439), 2015-08-01 -- 2016-01-31.

Areas of Advance

Information and Communication Technology


Driving Forces

Innovation and entrepreneurship

Subject Categories

Communication Systems

Other Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering



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