His ATHENA lab at Georgia Tech develops technologies for electromagnetic, wireless, radio frequency (RF), millimeter-wave, and sub-terahertz applications. The research of the multidisciplinary team covers telecommunications, defense, space, automotive, health, and weather/climate applications. The group’s research efforts combine inkjet-printing, flexible paper/organic substrates, nanotechnology-based structures, and green energy scavenging.
“We don’t just do it for academic research purposes. We’re motivated by grand challenges. That means we take a look at what’s out there and see what we can do to improve quality of life,” said Dr. Tentzeris. “We have considered, for example, the need for implantable electronics, the huge environmental impact of disposed batteries and electronics, and power grid vulnerability to climate change. These are the things that drive us.”
In particular, the group is focusing on harvesting energy from 5G networks to wirelessly power Internet of Things (IoT) devices. In effect, the group aims to replace batteries with a “wireless power grid.”
“The fact is 5G is going to be everywhere, especially in urban areas. You can replace millions, or tens of millions, of batteries of wireless sensors, especially for smart city and smart agricultural applications,” said Dr. Tentzeris.
With this technology, service providers could offer power on demand “over the air.” Beyond this research area, the group is also developing backscatter technologies, wearable sensors, origami-based electromagnetic systems, and more.
- Creation of a wireless power grid: Investigating how to use the ultra-broadband capacity and proliferation of 5G networks to power IoT devices and eliminate the need for batteries
- Miniaturized, fully printable, low-power smart sensors: Developing low-cost backscatter technology to transfer high-volume data anywhere while devising novel additively manufactured sensors for measuring chemicals, gas, strain, and biological analytes
- Enhancement of 5G+ technologies: Boosting the bandwidth of 5G cellular and IoT systems for low-cost, flexible, rugged, and scalable use across industries
- Transforming communications, energy autonomy, and sensing: Discovering origami-based electromagnetic components, RF circuits, and systems
- Green and sustainable energy harvesting: Leveraging the 5G network to wirelessly power IoT devices, including the development of the Rotman lens-based rectenna capable of millimeter-wave “direction-agnostic” harvesting at 28-GHz with high efficiency from all directions for the first time
- Backscatter technology developments: Innovating near-zero-power IoT communicators that run at 5G speeds to transfer high-volume data anywhere, with applications in “rugged” high-speed personal area networks with zero-power wearable health sensors, smart home sensors, and smart agricultural applications
- Augmentation of 5G for scalable applications: Making application-specific conformal reconfigurable 3D printed tiles to boost the bandwidth of 5G cellular and IoT systems using multiple antennas with a focus on low-cost, removable elements that yield massive scalability in terms of antenna elements, radiation beams, and intelligent surface areas
- Origami antennas with morphing characteristics: Building “shape-changing” multifunctional antennas and RF modules up to sub-terahertz frequencies made of flexible materials to help autonomous reconfigurable wireless telecommunications and sensing systems operate in harsh environments
- IEEE Fellow, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
- Electromagnetics Academy Fellow
- Founder and Chair of IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society (MTT-S) TC-24 (RFID Technologies)
- IEEE Council on Radio Frequency Identification (CRFID) Distinguished Lecturer (2015–Present)
- IEEE Antennas and Propagation Symposium (APS) Conference Co-Chair (2019)
- Humboldt Research Prize (2019)
- Georgia Electronic Design Center Associate Director for RFID/Sensors research (2006–2010)
- Georgia Tech National Science Foundation Packaging Research Center Associate Director for RF Research and the RF Alliance Leader (2003–2006)