Sensitive and Efficient RF Harvesting Supply for Batteryless Backscatter Sensor Networks

Stylianos D. Assimonis, Spyridon Nektarios Daskalakis, Aggelos Bletsas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Citations (Scopus)
327 Downloads (Pure)


This work presents an efficient and high-sensitivity radio frequency (RF) energy harvesting supply. The harvester consists of a single-series circuit with one double diode on a low-cost, lossy FR-4 substrate, despite the fact that losses decrease RF harvesting efficiency. The design targeted minimum reflection coefficient and maximum rectification efficiency, taking into account not only the impedance matching network, but also the rectifier microstrip trace dimensions and the load. The simulated and measured rectenna efficiency was 28.4% for -20-dBm power input. In order to increase sensitivity, i.e., ability to harvest energy and operate at low power density, rectennas were connected in series configuration (voltage summing), forming rectenna arrays. The proposed RF harvesting system ability was tested at various input power levels, various sizes of rectenna arrays, with or without a commercial boost converter, allowing operation at RF power density as low as 0.0139 μW/cm 2 . It is emphasized that the boost converter, whenever used, was self-started, without any additional external energy. The system was tested in supplying a scatter radio sensor, showing experimentally the effect of input power density on the operational cold start duration and duty cycle of the sensor.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1327-1338
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 14 Mar 2016


  • RF Energy Harvesting
  • Energy Harvesting
  • rectennas
  • rectifiers
  • Wireless Power Transfer
  • Wireless sensor networks
  • Wireless Sensing
  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • microwaves


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