Skinny RFID tags could soon show up embedded in paper


Gigaom

Two new developments in RFID research could pave the way for tags that are thinner, cheaper, and more versatile. Using new materials and cutting-edge laser fabrication, engineers at North Dakota State University have made RFID tags compatible with paper or metal, with applications ranging from banknotes to cargo containers.

The key to embedding ultra-thin RFID tags into paper is what’s called Laser Enabled Advanced Packaging. Instead of using the pick-and-place robotic methods generally employed with today’s larger tags, a laser pulse is used to insert the RFID circuitry into a substrate: in this case, paper. The force generated by this laser pulse is essential when dealing with chips that are so thin — 20 microns, less than most commercial RFID chips — in order to overcome the attractive forces that could hinder the pickup and placement with conventional methods. Static electricity, for example, can make the super-skinny chips stick…

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