Metasurface-assisted massive backscatter wireless communication with commodity Wi-Fi signals Article - Août 2020

Hanting Zhao, Ya Shuang, Menglin Wei, Tie Jun Cui, Philipp del Hougne, Lianlin Li

Hanting Zhao, Ya Shuang, Menglin Wei, Tie Jun Cui, Philipp del Hougne, Lianlin Li, « Metasurface-assisted massive backscatter wireless communication with commodity Wi-Fi signals  », Nature Communications, août 2020, p. 3926. ISSN 2041-1723

Abstract

Conventional wireless communication architecture, a backbone of our modern society, relies on actively generated carrier signals to transfer information, leading to important challenges including limited spectral resources and energy consumption. Backscatter communication systems, on the other hand, modulate an antenna’s impedance to encode information into already existing waves but suffer from low data rates and a lack of information security. Here, we introduce the concept of massive backscatter communication which modulates the propagation environment of stray ambient waves with a programmable metasurface. The metasurface’s large aperture and huge number of degrees of freedom enable unprecedented wave control and thereby secure and high-speed information transfer. Our prototype leveraging existing commodity 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi signals achieves data rates on the order of hundreds of Kbps. Our technique is applicable to all types of wave phenomena and provides a fundamentally new perspective on the role of metasurfaces in future wireless communication

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