Tomás Palacios' Group @ MIT

Advanced Semiconductor Materials and Devices

Converting Wi-Fi signals to electricity with new 2-D materials

Researchers from MIT and elsewhere have designed the first fully flexible, battery-free “rectenna” — a device that converts energy from Wi-Fi signals into electricity — that could be used to power flexible and wearable electronics, medical devices, and sensors for the “internet of things.”

Converting Wi-Fi signals to electricity with new 2-D materials

Device made from flexible, inexpensive materials could power large-area electronics, wearables, medical devices, and more.

Imagine a world where smartphones, laptops, wearables, and other electronics are powered without batteries. Researchers from MIT and elsewhere have taken a step in that direction, with the first fully flexible device that can convert energy from Wi-Fi signals into electricity that could power electronics.

Devices that convert AC electromagnetic waves into DC electricity are known as “rectennas.” The researchers demonstrate a new kind of rectenna, described in a study appearing in Nature today, that uses a flexible radio-frequency (RF) antenna that captures electromagnetic waves — including those carrying Wi-Fi — as AC waveforms. Read more here