Doctoral dissertation

Dissertation: Research finds new solutions for textile-integrated sensors

Materials such as electro-textiles and conductive thread are used for fabricating RFID wearable sensors. In her dissertation, Xiaochen Chen studies antenna evaluation and manufacturing methods for RFID tags. Textile-integrated passive RFID tags can be employed as maintenance-free moisture and strain sensors.

A new generation of wireless sensor networks are used for multiple purposes, such as monitoring traffic, crops, infrastructures and health. The body area network (BAN) enables continuous health monitoring, with health data sent over the internet in real time. Low-cost, low-power and lightweight sensors are the subject of intense scientific interest worldwide.

“What attracts me most in my research is that we use simple methods to solve scientific problems. For example, we use an embroidery machine to fabricate lightweight, flexible and cheap wearable RFID sensors,” Chen says.

Chen’s dissertation explores the evaluation and development of RFID tags that are used in an integrated wearable RFID platform working in a realistic environment. Each of the wearable antennas was specifically designed for a specific part of the body, such as the back or the hands. The antennas were manufactured using copper tape, electro-textiles (E-textile) and embroidered conductive threads.

Chen’s dissertation proposes several integrated solutions for wireless wearable devices. Different RFID antenna design and fabrication methods enable the use of RFID tags as small, lightweight, flexible and highly reliable sensors that are capable of detecting moisture and strain.

When the sensors are integrated into normal clothes, washing and drying cycles should not affect their reliability. Thus, the reliability of the sensors is evaluated in Chen’s dissertation as well.

Public defense of a doctoral dissertation on Friday, 1 February 2019

MSc (Tech) Xiaochen Chen’s doctoral dissertation in the field of electronics entitled ‘The Design, Fabrication and Practical Evaluation of Body-centric Passive RFID Platforms’ will be publicly examined at the Faculty of Faculty of Medicine and Health Technology of Tampere University (TAU) in auditorium SA203 in the Sähkötalo building (address: Korkeakoulunkatu 3, Tampere, Finland) at 12 noon on Friday, 1 February 2019.

The opponent will be Professor Hendrik Rogier (Ghent University, Belgium). Adjunct Professor Johanna Virkki from the Faculty of Medicine and Health Technology (TAU) will act as Chairman.

Xiaochen Chen comes from China and currently works in the Wireless Identification and Sensing Systems Research Group at TAU.

The doctoral dissertation is available online at http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-952-03-0960-2