Wirelessly Powered Light and Temperature Sensors Facilitated by Electrically Small Omnidirectional and Huygens Dipole Antennas

Wei Lin, Richard W. Ziolkowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Wirelessly powered, very compact sensors are highly attractive for many emerging Internet-of-things (IoT) applications; they eliminate the need for on-board short-life and bulky batteries. In this study, two electrically small rectenna-based wirelessly powered light and temperature sensors were developed that operate at 915 MHz in the 902-928-MHz industrial, scientific, and medical (ISM) bands. First, a metamaterial-inspired near-field resonant parasitic (NFRP) Egyptian axe dipole (EAD) antenna was seamlessly integrated with a highly efficient sensor-augmented rectifier without any matching network. It was electrically small and very thin, and its omnidirectional property was ideal for capturing incident AC wireless power from any azimuthal direction and converting it into DC power. Both a photocell as the light sensor and a thermistor as the temperature sensor were demonstrated. The resistive properties of the photocell and thermistor changed the rectifier's output voltage level; an acoustic alarm was activated once a threshold value was attained. Second, an electrically small, low-profile NFRP Huygens antenna was similarly integrated with the same light- and temperature-sensor-augmented rectifiers. Their unidirectional nature was very suitable for surface-mounted wireless power transfer (WPT) applications (i.e., on-body and on-wall sensors). Measurements of the prototypes of both the light- and temperature-sensor-augmented omni- and unidirectional rectenna systems confirmed their predicted performance characteristics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalSensors (Basel, Switzerland)
Issue number9
StatePublished - Apr 29 2019


  • Internet of things (IoT)
  • electrically small antennas
  • light sensors
  • rectennas
  • temperature sensors
  • wireless power transfer (WPT)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Information Systems
  • Instrumentation
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Biochemistry


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