US Scientists Developed First Smart RFID-Enabled Paper

The scientists at the North Dakota State University developed a process called Leap which can help embed the RFID chips on the paper.

May 2, 2013 11:44 IST
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The scientists at the North Dakota State University developed a process called Laser Enabled Advanced Packaging (Leap) which can help embed the radio frequency identification (RFID) chips on the paper. This process is cheaper and faster as well as it offers a range of applications than the present method.

This technique is useful for preventing fraudulent practices. It also gives a new meaning to paper trail. In this process, lasers are used to transfer as well as assemble the chips on the paper. The paper would thus be called a smart paper, which in turn can be used for various purposes such as smart labels, banknotes, tickets and legal documents.
These findings would be presented at Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers conference on RFID in Orlando, Florida.

There are already some RFID-enabled papers in the market but chip are thicker, which leads to either bumpy surface or bulky paper. This means that such a paper would not be printed.

The chips are at first, thinned by the plasma etcher. The technology is yet to be patented. It makes use of the laser beam's energy in order to transfer the ultra-thin chips precisely. Antennas are embedded by making use of the same method.

Prof Val Marinov, the Head of the project explained that this process was twice faster than the present method of manufacturing. It is also cheaper because of less material used. Therefore, there is an extensive potential for this technology.

Prof Val Marinov also explained that the European bank and Bank of Japan had hinted towards their intention for development of this technology, but they did not go for it. Therefore, the technology developed by the US scientists is the first one which demonstrates the functional RFID tag embedded in paper.

The team that developed the technology is now looking for the commercial partners of this technology.

What is RFID?

RFID is expanded as Radio-frequency identification. RFID is primarily the wireless non-contact application of the radio-frequency electromagnetic fields for transferring data. It is used for automatic identification as well as tracking the tags which are attached to the objects.

The tags are encompassed with electronically stored information. Some of these tags are powered as well as read at the short ranges through the electromagnetic induction or magnetic fields. Other tags make use of the local power source like battery, but they collect the energy from interrogating EM field.

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