A nonlinear parity-time-symmetric circuit is used to enable robust wireless power transfer to a moving device over a distance of one metre without the need for tuning.
Considerable progress in wireless power transfer has been made in the realm of non-radiative transfer, which employs magnetic-field coupling in the near field1,2,3,4. A combination of circuit resonance and impedance transformation is often used to help to achieve efficient transfer of power over a predetermined distance of about the size of the resonators3,4. The development of non-radiative wireless power transfer has paved the way towards real-world applications such as wireless powering of implantable medical devices and wireless charging of stationary electric vehicles1,2,5,6,7,8. However, it remains a fundamental challenge to create a wireless power transfer system in which the transfer efficiency is robust against the variation of operating conditions. Here we propose theoretically and demonstrate experimentally that a parity-time-symmetric circuit incorporating a nonlinear gain saturation element provides robust wireless power transfer. Our results show that the transfer efficiency remains near unity over a distance variation of approximately one metre, without the need for any tuning. This is in contrast with conventional methods where high transfer efficiency can only be maintained by constantly tuning the frequency or the internal coupling parameters as the transfer distance or the relative orientation of the source and receiver units is varied. The use of a nonlinear parity-time-symmetric circuit should enable robust wireless power transfer to moving devices or vehicles9,10.