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Electromagnetic Techniques for Performance Enhancement of Wireless Systems

Lyophilization is the process of controllably removing the water content from a material with the objective of increasing its stability and, hence, its shelf life. This dissertation addresses two of the challenges faced by lyophilization, namely continuous temperature-monitoring and lengthy primary drying step.

Continuous temperature monitoring of the product is imperative to a successful lyophilization process. It is more efficient to employ wireless temperature sensors rather than the conventional thermocouples. These wireless sensors need to keep a low profile that does not allow bulky battery attachment. Therefore, harvesting microwave energy is an excellent practice to power these sensors. Energy harvesting problem is twofold. One, designing an efficient flexible power-harvester (rectenna). To address this problem, we present a flexible rectenna with superior efficiency. While doing so, we establish the design procedure that can be followed for similar designs. Two, delivering sufficient power to the rectenna location inside the chamber. To address this problem, we propose two electromagnetic techniques, namely the statistical electromagnetics (SEM) and the electromagnetic time reversal (EMTR). These enable uniform power distribution and higher total efficiency.

As for the lengthy primary drying, to speed up the process, we propose RF-heating as a replacement for conventional heating. We establish a procedure for frequency selection based on the material under lyophilization and the geometrical properties of the freeze-drier’s chamber. The same techniques, SEM and EMTR are used. We conduct RF-assisted lyophilization processes based on SEM on different pharmaceutical bare excipients and on Myoglobin in four different excipients. The results confirm the superiority of the proposed technique in terms of drying time and heating uniformity.

History

Degree Type

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Campus location

West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Dimitrion Peroulis

Additional Committee Member 2

BABAK ZIAIE

Additional Committee Member 3

ELIZABETH M. TOPP

Additional Committee Member 4

SHREYAS SEN