Lots of people take the occasional ream of paper or note pad from the office — who's to know? In the future that might be your boss, because the paper could be tagged with RFID chips.
RFID tags are used in inventory controls and even tracking pets, but so far, they're not cheap. That's a big reason why everything isn't tagged and instead retailers and manufacturers use barcodes and QR codes.
Camille Ramade and colleagues at the University of Montpellier, France, developed a thermal evaporation process to deposit an aluminum coil antenna onto paper for use as an RFID tag. The tag uses less metal than conventional designs.
One big plus of the evaporation method is that it's low-cost. Aluminum is cheaper than copper or silver, which are often used in RFID tags because they are so conductive. The scientists involved said using aluminum might reduce the costs of tagging with an RFID chip by as much as 80 percent.
The team says they have prototypes and now have only to optimize the designs for different kinds of RFID chips.
Image: Int. J. Radio Frequency Identification Technology and Applications