Analysis and Design of UHF and Millimetre Wave Radio Frequency Identification: Dissertation

    Research output: ThesisDissertationCollection of Articles


    Radio frequency identification (RFID) is an asymmetric radio protocol, where uplink communication (from transponder to reader) is implemented with backscattering modulation. The idea was first demonstrated in the 1940's. One of the first consumer applications of RFID was access control, and key cards based on an inductive near field coupling are widely used even today. The introduction of Schottky diodes to CMOS processes enabled passive RFID, i.e. transponders without a battery, at ultra high frequencies (UHF) with reasonable cost and read range in the end of 1990's. This has opened up new applications and inspired new research on RFID. This thesis studies the radio frequency (RF) components and general RF phenomena in RFID at UHF and millimetre waves. The theoretical analysis of the radio path reveals that the read range of a passive UHF system is ideally limited by the downlink, i.e. the power transfer from reader to the transponder. However, the architecture of the reader RF front end is critical, because the transmitted signal may couple a significant amount of noise to the receiver, overpowering the faint reflection from the transponder. In the thesis, two adaptive RF front ends are introduced to eliminate the noise coupling from the transmitter. One of the most critical problems with UHF RFID has been the detuning of transponder antennas on different mounting platforms. The detuning may significantly diminish the read range of the transponder, especially on metal surfaces. In this thesis, two backscattering-based measurement techniques for the transponder antennas are presented. The detuning effect has been studied using these measurement techniques, and a platform tolerantantenna is introduced. RFID at millimetre waves enables miniaturisation of the reader antenna, and widening the data bandwidth over short distances. This could be used to access wirelessly mass memories with wide data bandwidth. A semipassive or active transponder could communicate, e.g., with automotive radars. The millimetre wave identification (MMID) has been theoretically studied and experimentally verified at 60 GHz.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor Degree
    Awarding Institution
    • Aalto University
    • Saarinen, Kimmo, Supervisor, External person
    • Kaivola, Matti, Supervisor, External person
    Award date30 Jan 2009
    Place of PublicationEspoo
    Print ISBNs978-951-38-7133-8
    Electronic ISBNs978-951-38-7134-5
    Publication statusPublished - 2008
    MoE publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)


    • radio frequency identification
    • RFID
    • ultra high frequency
    • UHF
    • millimetre
    • waves
    • millimetre wave identification
    • MMID
    • antenna
    • scattering
    • backscattering modulation
    • scattering measurement
    • reader device
    • adaptive rf front end


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