Most wireless data originates or terminates indoors. From restaurants to lobbies, stadiums to offices, antennas that blend in with their surroundings can help enable high-speed 5G networking.
3M™ Transparent Conductor Film Assembly is a thin, transparent conductive film that has a custom copper grid pattern as the conductive layer. It can be laminated to a rigid transparent polycarbonate support to help enable wireless sub-6GHz antennas for indoor and outdoor settings. An innovative conductive transparent film, it uses a proprietary copper grid conductive layer to enable inconspicuous, high-power antenna designs with low surface electrical resistance.
In lab and real-world tests versus a solid-plated-copper reference antenna, antennas using 3M™ Transparent Conductor Film demonstrated strong performance across a range of frequency bands. Contact 3M for detailed testing data.
Return loss testing found that antennas built with 3M™ Transparent Conductor Film had very similar return loss performance to solid-copper-plated antennas.
Antenna performance using 3M™ Transparent Conductor Film was compared with copper across the 2.4GHz, 5GHz and 6GHz frequency bands. Across 23 test sites at a range of distances and line-of-sight conditions, the antenna demonstrated comparable signal strength.
Historically, there have been several major challenges to creating transparent antennas. First, many technologies cannot support adequate power levels. Since standard PIM testing is performed at 2 x 43 dBm, antennas unable to tolerate this level of power are difficult to characterize for PIM. Second, some conductive film technologies inherently produce a high level of PIM. Third, transparent antenna technologies like ITO cannot provide the high conductivity required for high gain antennas without becoming yellowed and subject to cracking.
3M analyzed four major technologies for making transparent antennas and concluded that a "metal mesh" approach was the solution that best enabled high power levels and high conductivity within acceptable levels of PIM and without yellowing and cracking.
3M™ Transparent Conductor Film is a thin, transparent conductive film equipped with a copper grid as the conductive layer. 3M™ Transparent Conductor Film Assembly includes 3M™ Transparent Conductor Film laminated to a solid substrate. Depending on the application, either may be appropriate as an antenna component.
Please visit 3M.com/transparentantenna and tell us a bit about your project so our team can understand your application and prepare a sampling plan. Allow a minimum of 2-4 weeks for review and processing.