Inverse-design and 3D printing results in millimetre-wave metadevices

January 24, 2018 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting
Inverse-design and 3D printing results in millimetre-wave metadevices
A team at Northwestern University have come up with an approach starts with a function and asks what structure is needed to achieve the desired result – inverse design – enabling them to create metadevices at millimeter-wave frequencies.

The researchers used inverse design principles and a basic 3D printer purchased from Amazon – technologies not commonly used in their field – enabled the team to create highly efficient, non-resonant, broadband metadevices at millimeter-wave frequencies that could prove revolutionary for consumer products, defense, and telecommunications, including next-generation 5G wireless networks.

Inverse design starts with a basic premise about function and then finds a structure to enable it. Examples include wafer-thin eyeglasses or a smartphone camera so small it is invisible to the naked eye or an aerodynamic sensor that can conform to the exact slope and angle of a jet airplane wing.

These visions of future technologies emerge from a technical paper titled "Inverse-designed broadband all-dielectric electromagnetic metadevices" published online in Scientific Reports.

"I feel like we're really on the verge of something big," said Koray Aydin, assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the McCormick School of Engineering, who is leading the research efforts in inverse-designed metadevices. "There's a lot that needs to be done in the research part, but we're going in the right direction."

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