Hao Xin’s research on 3-D additive manufacturing techniques for electromagnetic components was featured on the front cover of an April 2017 special issue of Proceedings of the IEEE, a monthly peer-reviewed journal published by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.
The University of Arizona electrical and computer engineering professor is working on a 3-D polymer jetting process for antennas and circuits contained in wireless devices -- radios, cell phones, satellite television, GPS navigation systems and computers, for example.
“Advanced additive manufacturing will enable many new antennas and circuits that have been difficult or impossible to implement and may revolutionize future design and manufacturing of electronics,” said Xin, who also has made headlines worldwide for creating advanced materials with nature-defying capabilities that could be used to make invisibility cloaks.
The magazine cover of the issue on “Additive Manufacturing of Radio-Frequency Components” shows an Eaton lens, used in high-frequency antenna systems, that was produced in Xin’s UA Millimeter Wave Circuits and Antennas Laboratory and an X-band WR-90 waveguide feed for transmitting energy. The device, 120 millimeters, or 4.72 inches, wide, looks like a small plastic bowling ball with holes distributed throughout in a complex geometric pattern.
The paper, “3-D-Printed Microwave and THz Devices Using Polymer Jetting Techniques,” coauthored by post-doctoral researcher Min Liang, examined several potential technological applications using 3-D jetting with photosensitive polymers.
The researchers concluded that 3-D printing could lead to highly integrated communication and sensor systems -- from small electronic components to large mechanical parts.