(RFID World) Tracking liquids and metals have proven difficult for many RFID tracking technologies in the past. The Center of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) at the North Dakota State University (NDSU) could soon decrease the chance of such a problem with the introduction of the antennaless RFID tag. Such tags can help large and small companies to track and keep inventory of a wider range of items such as metal cargo containers as well as barrels of oil.

Previously when the problem of tracking metals and oils was an issue, bigger, bulkier tags were created to be more reliable. However, that caused a second problem; while handling the product being tracked, the bulkier RFID tags broke easily and failed to work. The new introduction of RFID tags by CNSE, are made with an integrated circuit and an antenna. Research done at NDSU has allowed for the creation of patent-pending approach of an antennaless RFID tag. The product is inexpensive and meets the EPCglobal standards.

The research team of CNSE includes three engineers, Cherish Bauer-Reich, Dr. Michael Reich (a senior researcher), as well as an undergraduate electrical engineer student, Layne Berge. The group of 3 will be presenting the antennaless RFID tags at the 2012 IEEE International Workshop on Antenna Technology in the first week of March.

Cherish Bauer-Reich stated that most RFID tags that can read metals or liquid products need to be created in a width of at least 0.5-3 cm thick because space is needed to place the antenna on a spacer. Such tags can be damaged easily according to Bauer-Reich so the antennaless RFID tag newly created is less than 3 mm thick.

The metal container itself was used as an antenna rather than having a spacer on which the antenna had to be placed, Bauer-Reich added. These tags can be used on grocery store items such as coffee cans or for metal cargo containers. There is very little risk of losing the tag or of it becoming detached because of the tiny size.

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