Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Committee Chair

Naber, John F.


Implants, Artificial; Radio frequency identification systems


The design and development of a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) based pressure-sensing system to increase the range of current Intra-Ocular Pressure (IOP) sensing systems is described in this dissertation. A large number of current systems use near-field inductive coupling for the transfer of energy and data, which limits the operational range to only a few centimeters and does not allow for continuous monitoring of pressure. Increasing the powering range of the telemetry system will offer the possibility of continuous monitoring since the reader can be attached to a waist belt or put on a night stand when sleeping. The system developed as part of this research operates at Ultra-High Frequencies (UHF) and makes use of the electromagnetic far field to transfer energy and data, which increases the potential range of operation and allows for the use of smaller antennas. The system uses a novel electrically small antenna (ESA) to receive the incident RF signal. A four stage Schottky circuit rectifies and multiplies the received RF signal and provides DC power to a Colpitts oscillator. The oscillator is connected to a pressure sensor and provides an output signal frequency that is proportional to the change in pressure. The system was fabricated using a mature, inexpensive process. The performance of the system compares well with current state of the art, but uses a smaller antenna and a less expensive fabrication process. The system was able to operate over the desired range of 1 m using a half-wave dipole antenna. It was possible to power the system over a range of at least 6.4 cm when the electrically small antenna was used as the receiving antenna.