Gregory D. Durgin has won the best paper award for IEEE RFID 2016, held May 3-5, 2016 in Orlando, Florida. He is a professor in the Georgia Tech School of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
Durgin’s paper, entitled “RF Thermoelectric Generation for Passive RFID,” presents a new Georgia Tech invention – an RF Thermoelectric Generator (RFTG) – which can be used to convert very low levels of RF power into usable voltages for computation, sensing, and communication.
Counter-intuitively, a nano-scale RFTG can be shown to outperform conventional diode- and transistor-based RF harvesting circuitry, which have hit fundamental limits in recent years. The paper projects that RFID and RF energy-harvesting sensors using RFTGs could operate without a power supply at distances exceeding 100m from readers and/or radio transmission sources – a factor of 4 improvement over the state-of-the-art.
IEEE RFID 2016 is the annual flagship international conference for the Council of RFID (CRFID), known for its long papers and low acceptance rates (ieee-rfid.2016.org). CRFID was elevated to Council status within the IEEE last year – essentially a “society for societies,” capable of engaging multi-disciplinary technologies. Incidentally, Georgia Tech has been instrumental in the growth of CRFID, with ECE’s own Manos Tentzeris and Gisele Bennett making formative contributions to the council.
For the 2016 conference, ECE’s Mary Ann Weitnauer also gave an invited talk entitled, “Reliable Sensor Communications with On Demand Network MIMO,” that was extremely well-received as part of the conference’s “hot topics” session. Qiongjie Lin, Huanyu Zhang, Hongxian Tian, Sean Nowlan, Gedeon Nyengele, Sajith Mohan Chakkedath, and Jim Stratigos were coauthors of this work. The talk presented a new communications scheme for reliably reading RFID and low-powered, transmit-only wireless sensors that could enable numerous internet-of-things applications.