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May 22nd

Conductive filaments and 3-D printers allow quick construction of electromagnetic metamaterials

  • Science
  • Nanotechnology

Nanowerk News – Researchers at Duke University have 3-D printed potent electromagnetic metamaterials, using an electrically conductive material compatible with a standard 3-D printer.

The demonstration could revolutionize the rapid design and prototyping of radio frequency applications such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, wireless sensing and communications devices.

Metamaterials are synthetic materials composed of many individual, engineered devices called cells that together produce properties not found in nature. As an electromagnetic wave moves through the metamaterial, each engineered cell manipulates the wave in a specific way to dictate how the wave behaves as a whole.

Metamaterials can be tailored to have unnatural properties such as bending light backwards, focusing electromagnetic waves onto multiple areas and perfectly absorbing specific wavelengths of light. But previous efforts have been constrained to 2-D circuit boards, limiting their effectiveness and abilities and making their fabrication difficult.

In a new paper appearing online in the journal Applied Physics Letters ("Microwave metamaterials made by fused deposition 3D printing of a highly conductive copper-based filament"), Duke materials scientists and chemists have shown a way to bring electromagnetic metamaterials into the third dimension using common 3-D printers.

Read more at Nanowerk News.