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Exploitation of the nonlinearities in electromagnetic energy harvesting and passive UHF RFID

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 February 2016

Gianfranco Andia-Vera*
University of Grenoble, Alpes, LCIS, 50 rue Barthélémy de Laffemas, 26902 Valence, France. Phone: +33 475 759 442
Shankar Nawale
Sinhgad Engineering Institute, 19-15, Smt Khilare Marg, Off Karve Road, Erandwane, Pune, India
Yvan Duroc
Ampere Laboratory, Lyon University, 43 boulevard du 11 novembre 1918, 69622 Villeurbanne, France
Smail Tedjini
University of Grenoble, Alpes, LCIS, 50 rue Barthélémy de Laffemas, 26902 Valence, France. Phone: +33 475 759 442
Corresponding author: G. Andia-Vera Email:


In this paper, some theoretical aspects and experimental results are discussed with the aim to provide supplementary dc energy to radio frequency identification (RFID) tags by exploiting the nonlinear nature of rectifier devices. Three nonlinear phenomena are treated: (i) the impedance power dependence, (ii) the harmonic production, and (iii) the dependence on the radio frequency waveform. The novelty of the work relies on proposing a double rectifier composite system in where the nonlinearity of each rectifier is exploited to enhance the global powering performance of the system. Using the passive RFID technology as a beacon for the implementation, the approach considers combining the internal rectifier circuit of a commercial RFID chip operating at 868 MHz with an external rectifier circuit operating at 2.17 GHz. The solution triggers in a composite system RFID tag-harvester integrated in a single-feed dual-band antenna. The experimental validation shows 5 dB of tag sensitivity enhancement when it is empowered by the external harvester. The enhanced sensitivity produces an increase in the theoretical reading range distance from 3.3 to 6.1 m.

Research Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2016 

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