Date of Award

Summer 2006

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Micro and Nanoscale Systems

First Advisor

Kody Varahramyan


This dissertation reports on the design and development of three compact, non-meandered microstrip patch antennas for ultra high frequency (UHF) radio frequency identification (RFID) applications. The monopole antennas considered in this work are an inset-fed triangular antenna, one arm Archimedes spiral antenna and a Half-Sierpinski fractal antenna. These antennas with small length to width ratios (< 2/1), can be the preferred choice, in the tagging of small size consumer end products, over the ubiquitous meandered dipole antenna (length/width > 5/1), which is often the antenna of choice, due to its high gain for UHF RFID applications. The lengths and widths of all three antennas are less than 5.5 cm. Earlier reports of planar antennas for RFID applications in the UHF range have lengths larger than 9 cm on one side or are developed on a rigid substrate. All three antennas have a surface area of about 30 cm2 and are designed for a flexible polyimide substrate. The new antennas satisfy the requirement of a voltage standing wave ratio (VSWR) < 2 and exhibit a gain close to or greater than 0 dBi at the operation frequency of 915 MHz. All three antennas have a return-loss less than -10 dB at 915 MHz and a -10 dB bandwidth greater than 12 MHz. While the triangular and spiral antennas display peak gains of over 2 dBi, the fractal antenna has a gain close to 0 dBi (-0.64 dBi). The effect of ground geometry on the radiation performance of the antennas has been analyzed using ANSOFT Designer software. Slots, aligned to the top patch were introduced in the antenna ground plane to increase the gain of the antennas. The fabricated and tested antennas were then employed in the transmission-delay-line-based passive radio-frequency identification tag. The location of the antenna with respect to the transmission line on the tag was found to affect the radiation pattern of the antenna. A circular disc monopole antenna having a gain of 8.88 dBi and having a -10 dB bandwidth greater than 300 MHz was employed to transmit and receive the interrogating and back-scattered signals, respectively. The generation of bits, employing On-Off Keying (OOK) modulation technique was successfully demonstrated. The tag, fabricated with the triangular antenna is found to perform the best.