Testing and Data Analysis of Meta-Material Rectifying Antennas

The overall objective of this research project is to rectify electromagnetic radiation at high frequencies into directional current (DC) electricity by using a bow-tie antenna coupled with a rectifying metal-insulator-insulator-metal (MIIM) diode, i.e., a rectenna. For energy-harvesting applications, these rectenna need to feature a zero-biased responsivity (ZBR) that is non-zero, nonlinear, and possess an extremely fast temporal response. On-going testing involves quantifying thermal energy conversion by rectenna devices fabricated through an inter-institutional collaboration. The tests described within this presentation includes two distinct parts: a four-point probe which tests the nonlinearity of the diode and a thermal test which examines whether the device increases in voltage output when subjected to a heat source. Of the devices that showed a response, most had a null current at zero bias, yet displayed an output voltage during thermal testing. Due to dissimilar metals used in the fabrication of the pads, the likely voltage increase is due to a thermocouple effect.