North Carolina State University Makes Bendable Antennas

Tiny antennas that can bend, twist and stretch, before snapping back to their original shapes, could some day find themselves in flexible electronics and equipment that needs to be rolled up before deployment.Like all antennas, most of which are made out of copper and are not re-shapable, this bendy variety of antennas would collect or emit radio waves of a certain frequency.

Its made up of  a piece of elastic silicon that resembles a flat ribbon. Then, an alloy of gallium and indium is injected into tiny channels within the stretchy ribbon. Each channel is just a tad thicker than the width of a human hair and has two openings, one at either end.The alloy is liquid at room temperature and can slosh around like water.

They can then be rolled up or folded, trekked to another site and unpackaged with no wear on the antenna. The antenna could also be used to monitor motion in structures such as bridges. As the bridge expands and contracts, it would stretch the antenna – changing the frequency of the antenna, and providing civil engineers information wirelessly about the condition of the bridge.Researchers are working on artificial eyes in which such twistable antennas would send visual signals to the brain to help blind individuals regain some sort of sight.

Even if you were to cut through the antenna with a razor blade, the oxidizing process would happen so quickly another skin would immediately form, meaning no leaks.Because the alloy remains a liquid, it takes on the mechanical properties of the material encasing it.The sloshing liquid also means such antennas could collect signals with a variety of wavelengths.

No video or Pictures have been officially released for these new antennas. We will post the videos and pictures once they are available. Stay tuned to RealityPod!

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