Powering the increasing number of sensor nodes used in the Internet of Things creates a technological challenge. The economic and sustainability issues of battery-powered devices mean that wirelessly powered operation—combined with environmentally friendly circuit technologies—will be needed. Large-area electronics—which can be based on organic semiconductors, amorphous metal oxide semiconductors, semiconducting carbon nanotubes and two-dimensional semiconductors—could provide a solution. Here we examine the potential of large-area electronics technology in the development of sustainable, wirelessly powered Internet of Things sensor nodes. We provide a system-level analysis of wirelessly powered sensor nodes, identifying the constraints faced by such devices and highlighting promising architectures and design approaches. We then explore the use of large-area electronics technology in wirelessly powered Internet of Things sensor nodes, with a focus on low-power transistor circuits for digital processing and signal amplification, as well as high-speed diodes and printed antennas for data communication and radiofrequency energy harvesting.
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Portilla, L., Loganathan, K., Faber, H. et al. Wirelessly powered large-area electronics for the Internet of Things. Nat Electron 6, 10–17 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41928-022-00898-5