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Energy Harvesting Backscatter Sensors at 5.8 GHz

Greg Durgin


What may seem like science fiction may only be a few years away from reality: small, passive wireless sensors capable of relaying data from over 100 meters away – without batteries, solar cells, or any on-board power supply. This talk discusses how recent breakthroughs in energy-harvesting, low-powered semiconductor devices, and backscatter communications are converging to allow long-distance exchange of information technology. We will discuss basic research results from Georgia Tech’s 5.8 GHz backscatter radio technology as well as its current use in high-voltage sensors for realizing “Smart Grid” applications.


Gregory D. Durgin joined the faculty of Georgia Tech’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering in Fall 2003. He received the BSEE (96), MSEE (98), and PhD (00) degrees from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. In 2001 he was awarded the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Post-doctoral Fellowship and spent one year as a visiting researcher with Morinaga Laboratory at Osaka University. In 1998 he received the Stephen O. Rice prize (with coauthors Theodore S. Rappaport and Hao Xu) for best original journal article in the IEEE Transactions on Communications. Prof. Durgin also authored Space-Time Wireless Channels, the first textbook in the field of space-time channel modeling. Prof. Durgin founded the Propagation Group ( at Georgia Tech, a research group that studies radiolocation, channel sounding, backscatter radio, RFID, and applied electromagnetics. He is a sought-after consultant to industry, having advised more than 12 multinational corporations on wireless technology. He is a winner of the NSF CAREER award as well as numerous teaching awards, including the Class of 1940 Howard Ector Outstanding Classroom Teacher Award at Georgia Tech (2007). Prof. Durgin has co-developed a course at Georgia Tech with Prof. Manos Tentzeris entitled RFID and Wireless Sensors, a first-of-its-kind offering among US academic institutions.

Greg Durgin Headshot
Greg Durgin
Georgia Institute of Technology
EEB 105
9 Feb 2010, 10:30am until 1:30am