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A team of engineers at Tufts University has developed a series of 3D printed metamaterials with unique microwave or optical properties. In one case, they drew inspiration from the compound eye of a moth to create a hemispherical device that can absorb electromagnetic signals from any direction at selected wavelengths. The research was published today in the journal Microsystems & Nanoengineering, published by Springer Nature.
Metamaterials, introduced by Victor Veselago in 1968, are artificially engineered materials, which can be designed to show unique electromagnetic properties sometimes not found in nature. Metamaterials extend the capabilities of conventional materials in devices by making use of geometric features arranged in repeating patterns at scales smaller than the wavelengths of energy being detected or influenced. New developments in 3D printing technology are making it possible to create many more shapes and patterns of metamaterials, and at ever smaller scales.
Researchers - Nano - Lab - Tufts - Fabrication
Researchers at the Nano Lab at Tufts propose a hybrid fabrication approach using 3D printing, metal coating and etching to create metamaterials with complex geometries and novel functionalities for wavelengths in the microwave range.
For example, they created an array of tiny mushroom shaped structures, each holding a small patterned metal resonator at the top of a stalk. This particular arrangement permits microwaves of specific frequencies to be absorbed, depending on the chosen geometry of the "mushrooms" and their spacing. Use of such metamaterials could be valuable in applications such as sensors in medical diagnosis and as antennas in telecommunications or detectors in imaging applications.
Devices - Researchers - Reflectors
Other devices developed by the researchers include parabolic reflectors that selectively absorb...
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