Design of High-Performance Antennas and Novel Electromagnetic Radiation Measurement Techniques for Biological Cells
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The pursuit of compact wireless communication systems has been driving significant research efforts to miniaturization. Antennas, as one of the key components, are of no exception. Conventional antenna miniaturization is usually achieved at the expense of bandwidth and radiation efficiency. In the first part of this dissertation, advanced techniques are introduced to design compact high-performance antennas for very-high-frequency (VHF) mobile systems and for millimeter-wave 5G user equipment.
The second part of this dissertation is focused on the detection of electromagnetic (EM) radiation from bacterial cells in biofilms. It has long been suggested that cells may use EM signals to communicate with each other. However, there is no experimental evidence to support such hypothesis so far. In this work, novel measurement techniques are developed to explore the existence of EM radiation from bacterial biofilms. Several special measurement systems capable of measuring extremely weak signals are designed and implemented, including a wideband near-zone radiative system, a spiral antenna system and a regenerative RF sensing system. We successfully identified radiation from Staphylococcus aureus biofilms in the 3-4 GHz frequency range. This is the first time that EM radiation from bacterial biofilms has been observed in the gigahertz frequency range, which is a key requirement to demonstrate EM signaling among bacterial cells.
Chair: Professor Kamal Sarabandi