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Design and Fabrication of 3D Printed Reconfigurable Metamaterial-inspired Structures
Keywords: Additive Manufacturing, Microfludics , Metamaterials
3D printing has garnered significant interest over the last few years from the Electromagnetic community as it allows design and fabrication of complex parts that are difficult to realize using conventional fabrication techniques. Many RF components have been demonstrated recently including antennas, phase shifters, waveguides, etc [1-2]. More recently there has been interest in designing novel EM structures such as foldable origami- inspired RF designs, Non-planar antennas, and Multi-layer RF circuits [3]. One of the key advantages of 3D printing is that it allows for the fabrication of complex 3D geometries where a gradient of material properties in the spatial region can be tailored to design novel circuits. In this paper, we investigate the use of 3D printing to design and fabricate three- dimensional metamaterial-inspired RF circuits. 3D circuits investigated includes microfluidic sensors, bandpass, and bandstop filters, and tunable circuits. These structures are tailored in all special dimensions (X, Y, and Z) to achieve optimum performance. Preliminary work on 3D printing has shown that complex geometries can readily be printed with print resolution down to 25 μm using commercial printers. Also, geometries can be designed such that metal can selectively be patterned in all dimensions. Furthermore, active elements can be incorporated within the 3D printed structure for electronic tuning of individual elements such as phase shifters. In particular, reconfigurable metamaterial based circuits, for example, phase shifters, and high impedance surfaces are demonstrated on planar printed surfaces. In this paper, advancing the 3D printing technique to demonstrate three-dimensional metamaterial-inspired RF circuits are presented along with the details of design, fabrication, and results of the different circuits are outlined.
Saranraj Karuppuswami,
Michigan State University
East Lansing, Michigan

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