Session 19: 3D Printing
3D and Aerosol-printed Conductor-dielectric Full-3D RF Metamaterials
Thursday, June 22, 2017
9:25 AM - 9:45 AM
The use of additive manufacturing technologies (AMTs), in the form of 2D printing technologies, have gradually grown in prominence in academia and gained industrial adoption for the fabrication of radio-frequency (RF) electronics, for applications in low cost devices and wearables. Nevertheless, these efforts have almost exclusively consisted in adapting standard RF designs for operation on flexible and/or 3D-printed planar substrates: the 2.5D (stacks of 2D planes) paradigm that pervades classical RF design and fabrication has not been shifted. In order to do so, an additional dimension needs to be added.
The goal of the presented research is to introduce the use of the additional degree of freedom provided by 3D printing technologies for the manufacturing of full-3D RF elements and circuits that cannot be fabricated with traditional technologies. The proposed approach relies on the combination of high-resolution stereolithography (SLA) dielectric printing and conformal aerosol-printed metal-nanoparticle-ink-based conductive traces. The work covers the selection, printing, processing and optimization process of the additively-deposited materials, as well as their topological and high frequency electrical characterization. In addition, the design, fabrication, and testing of two novel 3D metamaterial printed RF structures, uniquely enabled by the singular properties of AMTs, are described. These printed structures not only constitute the first examples of functional full-3D multi-material RF designs, but are also demonstrated to provide orders-of-magnitude performance improvements compared to their 2D counterparts. This work may thereby set the foundation for the emergence of an entirely new class of 3D-printing-enabled RF components and systems.
Jesse Tice is a Principal Scientist in Northrop Grumman’s new basic research center, NG Next, and directs the Nanomaterials Laboratory focused on molecular chemistry, synthesis, and physical characterization of nanomaterials. His research emphasis is in nanomaterials for aerospace and defense, and has previously led many applied research efforts including thermal management technologies from the junction to radiator panel on aerospace platforms. Jesse has received numerous awards from Northrop Grumman including the President's Award and Most Promising Engineer of the Year. He graduated from Arizona State University in 2008 with a Ph.D. in Chemistry, and is currently the Co-Director of the Northrop Grumman Institute of Optical Nanomaterials and Nanophotonics at USC.