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3D printed antenna converts 5G signal into electricity
Cellular operators around the world are actively deploying 5G networks. They enable lightning-fast data transfer speeds, giving users access to stunning content. However, the developers of 5G technologies hardly knew that they were creating a wireless method of transmitting electricity. This opportunity was realized by the specialists of the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Scientists have developed a small antenna, which is then printed on a 3D printer. It allows you to convert the received 5G signal into electric current. It’s worth noting that 5G signal is available in several flavors, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. The highest speeds are provided by the millimeter wave (mmWave), which allows transferring several gigabits per second. This means that it has a high potential for generating electrical energy.
It should be noted that this was known before, however, a rather large rectifying antenna was used to obtain current, which made the undertaking impractical. Georgia Institute of Technology development solves this problem. Thanks to the use of a spiked component called the Rothman lens, the antenna was reduced to the size of a human palm, and it was also made flat and flexible. Rothman lenses are already widely used in 5G beamforming systems to expand network coverage.
Antenna designed by Georgia Institute of Technology absorbs 21 times more energy than a standard rectifying antenna of the same size. We are talking about only 6 microwatts, which can be received at a distance of 180 meters from the 5G transmitter, provided there is a line of sight. Of course, this is very little, but this amount of energy is enough to power sensors and simple devices of the Internet of Things. The team believes 5G wireless power transmission has a bright future if cellular operators figure out how to charge for it.