A Battery-Less Wirelessly Powered Frequency-Swept Spectroscopy Sensor

Tech ID: 31987 / UC Case 2019-847-0


UCLA researchers in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering have developed a wirelessly powered frequency-swept spectroscopy sensor.


Wireless power transfer is in increasing demand as the development of network sensors and bio-implantable devices gain popularity. Integration of a vast network of sensors with miniaturized sensor nodes is essential to power minimally intrusive medical implants. Among current energy sources, far-field electromagnetic radiation performs better than near field inductive coupling due to larger operating distances and less path loss. However, large external antennas are needed by far-field RFID which can easily exceed 10 cm2 in area, and cause interference from TX to RX. A far-field RFID systems with reduced size and improved performance is highly needed.


UCLA researchers have developed a fully integrated wirelessly powered microchip with a small footprint of 2.47mm2. The chip includes an energy-harvesting front-end, a power management unit, a super-harmonic injection-locked oscillator, and on-chip receiving and transmitting antennas. The chip was successfully developed and achieved a maximum operating distance of 8cm, a 22% locking range from 4 to 5GHz, and a phase noise of -93dBc/Hz at 100Hz offset. The large locking range allowed for spectroscopy measurements on a variety of materials and fluids.


  • Medical implants: detection of bleeding, body fluidic, cancerous tissue, etc. 
  • Industrial monitoring: detection of corrosion, crack, or change in the dielectric. 
  • Consumer electronics: fingerprint detection, touch sensors, objects identification, etc.


  • Extended operating distance 
  • Enhanced sensitivity 
  • Reduced power consumptions from the duty cycle mode 
  • Large locking range

State Of Development

Device prototyped and characterized. Proof-of-concept spectroscopy measurements performed on various materials and fluids.

Patent Status

Country Type Number Dated Case
United States Of America Published Application 20220252506 08/11/2022 2019-847


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  • Babakhani, Aydin

Other Information


wireless, power, battery-less, antenna, spectroscopy, energy

Categorized As