Several manufacturers of IoT-based antennas are developing products using Chasm, a new nearly transparent material that enables IoT or radio-frequency identification sensors and tags to be used in places where traditional antennas have traditionally caused visual disruption, such as in automobiles. on the windshield. According to the company, the new antenna is designed to be hidden from view and, while not completely invisible, will not be noticeable to users.

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Founded in 2015, Chasm develops and manufactures advanced materials that enable products with better performance and better sustainability. The company builds carbon nanotubes into the material to provide strength, flexibility, and conductivity while achieving near-transparency. Chasm also makes transparent heaters, low-carbon cement, and battery materials.

Taoglas, a global provider of antennas and advanced IoT components, has launched three invisible antenna products powered by Chasm’s hybrid transparent conductor technology. The company is currently marketing the antenna to provide connectivity to vehicles without adding wiring or changing the frame. Instead, users can simply peel off the device and stick it to the windshield.

Newbega company is also good at making high-frequency RFID tags, cheap and well-made, if you have any required you reach out to us.

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Car Labels will Overcome Visual Barriers of Existing Antennas

A large part of a classic RFID tag is the antenna. It usually consists of a copper wire that surrounds the IC that stores the tag’s data. Therefore, some applications of RFID tags and IoT products may be limited by aesthetics. For example, mounting an antenna on glass can spoil the appearance of the glass and also inhibit visibility.

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Additionally, some IoT device makers choose to hide the wireless antenna by hiding it inside the device, which means performance suffers. Chasm CEO and co-founder David Arthur said that simply because of the need for packaging (part of the non-transparent label), this will be a key disadvantage of PCB-based antennas. He further explained that if they were mounted on glass, it would either draw attention to the antennas or block the view.

On the other hand, transparent antennas will give IoT product developers more design freedom in terms of antenna placement. According to him, Chasm has been working on this transparent antenna solution for several years and plans to release this development this year.

Arthur said the product is being demonstrated on a range of antennas, whether transmitting Bluetooth Low Energy signals, Wi-Fi, Ultra Wideband, 5G, GNSS, Ultra High Frequency RFID or Near Field Communication. With this new material, antenna manufacturers can progress from opaque PCB-based antennas to transparent ones.

What's Inside a Transparent Antenna?

The antenna material consists of a micromesh merged with extremely fine copper wires, 5 micrometers (0.0002 inches) wide, in a diamond-shaped pattern. To put the width of the copper wires into context, anything smaller than about 8 microns (0.0003 inches) is difficult to see with the human eye. So when looking through Chasm’s grid, one doesn’t see copper.

 

Between the wires is a large amount of open area through which light will pass, accounting for about 85% to 95% of the total grid area. The copper is thick enough to carry current, but not as effective as a wider piece of copper. The antenna material therefore makes use of printed carbon nanotubes, in the form of screen-printed inks, coated on copper micromesh to improve the electrical conductivity required in open spaces.

 

Carbon nanotubes play a very important role. They are one of the strongest materials known and so provide mechanical reinforcement for the tiny wires that make up the copper micromesh. In this way, the conductive carbon nanotubes can bypass cracks in tiny wires, acting like a self-healing conductive film, known as a hybrid transparent conductor.

 

The nanotubes used are so-called single-walled carbon nanotubes, rather than in multi-walled form. Simply put, it only takes one wall to conduct electricity. While the more common carbon nanotubes contain as many as 10 walls, the other nine are only responsible for absorbing light and have no value in terms of conductivity, so they chose to grow single-walled carbon nanotubes.

 

The bottom line for users, Arthur reports, is that the antenna is transparent enough that it might go unnoticed if people aren’t paying attention. In terms of performance, the company found in internal testing that the flexible antenna was closer to the performance of a high-quality RF microwave-grade printed circuit board, so the combination of copper micromesh and carbon nanotubes made this possible.

How to Market Transparent Antenna And Car Labels

Chasm is selling the material to antenna companies and device makers. Arthur said that we are a material company and currently do not have antenna design capabilities, so we choose to cooperate with antenna design experts.

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These antennas have been tested on a range of frequencies from satellite to NFC and HF RFID. While there are other companies that offer transparent antennas, the Chasm product is different in that it is thin and flexible for easy design, and it also comes in a peel-and-stick format, unlike products made of glass.

According to Arthur, antennas using transparent materials will be more expensive than traditional antennas at the board level. But at the system level, it may be cheaper considering there is no additional packaging cost and the user does not have to put the antenna in a housing.

He also mentioned other potential cost savings associated with the installation. Because it can be placed anywhere you want, usually on glass, there are fewer cables, he said. As a result, installation costs are lower, wiring costs are lower, and there are no packaging costs.

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