Aline Eid, Georgia Tech: “Could 5G Wirelessly Power IoT Devices?”

Position: PhD Candidate

Current Institution: Georgia Tech

Abstract: Could 5G Wirelessly Power IoT Devices?

Nikola Tesla’s dream of wireless power transmission has remained appealing yet elusive and generally impractical due to the fundamental propagation properties of electromagnetic waves and to regulations. However the rise of affordable mm-wave systems—catalyzed and exemplified by 5G—has made accessible reasonably-sized high-gain radiators capable of focalizing their electromagnetic energy to create highly efficient wireless links capable of transmitting wireless power. However the beneficial high-gain feature of such systems is also a curse for large-aperture low-cost passive receivers requiring a direction-agnostic operation. This fundamental problem remained to be solved. I have introduced a solution that breaks the usual paradigm imprisoned in the trade-off between rectenna angular coverage and turn-on sensitivity. The concept relies on the implementation of a Rotman lens between the antennas and the rectifiers. The printed low-cost flexible mm-wave rectenna achieves a robust and bending-resilient coverage of 120° while demonstrating a 21-fold increase in harvested power compared to a lens-less rectenna of identical size. The 40 billion IoT devices expected to be deployed by 2025 are going to generate millions of tons of environmentally damaging chemical wastes in the form of expired batteries. Furthermore their current cost form-factors and battery-maintenance requirements are incompatible with the ubiquitous deployments needed for Digital Twinning in Smart Agriculture and Smart City applications. Using our innovation IoT devices will be powered and be capable of passively communicating information (as mm-wave “RFIDs”) at distances exceeding 180m using 5G base-stations transmitting the full 75 dBm EIRP allowable by the FCC in the 5G/mm-wave bands.


Aline Eid received her B.Eng. and M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Notre Dame University Louaize Lebanon and the American University of Beirut Lebanon in 2015 and 2017 respectively. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Electrical Engineering in the ATHENA Group led by Prof. Manos Tentzeris at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Her research interests are in Electromagnetics and Microwave/Millimeter-Wave Devices and Systems Intelligent Autonomous and Human-aware Systems and Communications and Networking. Her research focuses on zero-power mm-wave-enabled solutions for smart environments and autonomous robots and vehicles. She was the first to propose unconventional fully-printed structures to enable batteryless devices with breakthrough wireless capabilities by combining knowledge in electromagnetics antennas RFIDs signal processing and materials science. During her Ph.D. Aline was the recipient of more than 12 awards inventor in 4 patents and author/co-author of more than 35 conference and journal papers and book chapters.