3D printed hemispherical metamaterials have unique microwave or optical properties_PTJ Blog

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3D printed hemispherical metamaterials have unique microwave or optical properties


On April 9th, a team of engineers from Tufts University has developed a series of 3D printing materials with unique microwave or optical properties. They took inspiration from the compound eyes of moths and produced a hemispherical device that can be selected Absorb electromagnetic signals from any direction at a given wavelength. This research was published in the journal "Microsystems and Nanoengineering" published by Springer Nature.

3D printed hemispherical metamaterials have unique microwave or optical properties

Metamaterials are artificially designed materials proposed by Victor Viselego in 1968, which can be used to display unique electromagnetic properties, which are difficult to find in nature. Metamaterials use geometric features arranged in repetitive patterns on a scale smaller than the wavelength of the energy being detected or affected, expanding the capabilities of traditional materials in devices. The new development of 3D printing technology makes it possible to create more metamaterial shapes and patterns, and on a smaller scale.

Researchers at Tufts Nanolab have proposed a hybrid manufacturing method that uses 3D printing, metal coating and etching techniques to produce metamaterials with complex geometric structures and new functional wavelengths in the microwave range. For example, they created a series of tiny mushroom-like structures, each with a small metal resonator on top of a stem. This special arrangement allows microwaves of specific frequencies to be absorbed, depending on the selected geometry of the "mushroom" and its spacing. The use of such metamaterials may be valuable in applications such as sensors in medical diagnostics, antennas in telecommunications, or detectors in imaging applications.

Other devices developed by the researchers include parabolic mirrors, which can selectively absorb and transmit specific frequencies. This concept can simplify optical devices by combining reflection and filtering functions into a single unit. "Sameer Sonkusale, professor of electrical and computer engineering in the School of Engineering at Tufts University, said that the ability to use metamaterials to consolidate functions can be very useful. He is the head of the Tufts University Nano Lab and the corresponding author of the study. It is possible We can use these materials to reduce the size of spectrometers and other optical measurement equipment so that they can be designed for portable field research."

Another contribution is the ability to integrate multiple electromagnetic functions into a metamaterial embedded in geometric optics or MEGO devices. Other shapes, sizes, and directions of 3D printing can be imagined as creating megos that absorb, enhance, reflect, or flexural waves. The way is difficult to achieve with traditional production methods. Researchers are currently using light-curing 3D printing technology to make light-curing resins polymerize to print the desired shape. Other 3D printing technologies, such as two-photon polymerization, can provide a printing resolution of 200 nanometers, which makes it possible to produce finer metamaterials. Detect and process electromagnetic signals of smaller wavelengths, possibly including visible light.

Aydin Sadeqi, a graduate student in Sankusale's Labora at Tufts University School of Engineering and the lead author of the study, said: "We have not yet realized the full potential of Megas 3D printing." We can use existing technology to do more things. With the inevitable development of 3D printing, we have huge potential. "

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