A new method to reconfigure, tune or program an antenna is presented and validated through a fabricated proof-of-concept prototype. The method relies on the changing electrical properties of a smart material, vanadium dioxide ( VO2), across its solid-to-solid phase transition. The phase change in the material is induced thermally. The developed device is a monolithically integrated VO2-based antenna that changes resonant frequency on demand. Details and challenges related to the design, fabrication and integration of VO2 thin films with antennas, as well as the measurement setup, are discussed. Measurement results match well with theory and simulations. Results unveil a new technique for reconfiguring antennas and suggest further studies and improvements could lead to more exciting results and make vanadium dioxide thin-films an alternate solution for multi-functional antennas. This work is the first prototype to implement this new reconfiguration mechanism in antennas in the gigahertz range and to present results during the VO2 metal-to-insulator phase transition.
Teeslink, T. S., Torres, D., Ebel, J. L., Sepúlveda, N., & Anagnostou, D. (2015). Reconfigurable Bowtie Antenna Using Metal-Insulator Transition in Vanadium Dioxide. IEEE Antennas and Wireless Propagation Letters, 14, 1381-1384. https://doi.org/10.1109/LAWP.2015.2407858