Volumetric 3D-Printed Antennas, Manufactured via Selective Polymer Metallization

Dmitry Filonov*, Sergey Kolen, Andrey Shmidt, Yosi Shacham-Diamand, Amir Boag, Pavel Ginzburg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

Abstract

Additive manufacturing paves new ways to the efficient exploration of the third space dimension, providing advantages over conventional planar architectures. In particular, volumetric electromagnetic antennas can demonstrate superior characteristics, outperforming their planar counterparts. Here a new approach to the fabrication of electromagnetic devices is developed and applied to antennas, implemented on curved surfaces. Highly directive and broadband antennas are 3D-printed on hemispherical supports. The antenna skeleton and the support are simultaneously printed with different polymer materials – PLA mixed with graphene flakes and pure PLA, respectively. Weakly DC-conductive graphene PLA-based skeleton is post-processed and high-quality conductive copper layer is selectively electrochemically deposited on it. The antenna devices are found to demonstrate radiation performance, similar to that achievable with conventional fabrication approaches. However, additive manufacturing of RF antennas provides superior capabilities of constructing tailor-made devices with properties, pre-defined by non-standardized end users.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1800668
JournalPhysica Status Solidi - Rapid Research Letters
Volume13
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2019

Keywords

  • antenna measurements
  • metallization
  • polymer foams
  • three-dimensional printing

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