Selective electroless plating of 3D-printed plastic structures for three-dimensional microwave metamaterials

Atsushi Ishikawa, Taiki Kato, Nobuyuki Takeyasu, Kazuhiro Fujimori, Kenji Tsuruta

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4 Citations (Scopus)


A technique of selective electroless plating onto PLA-ABS (Polylactic Acid-Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) composite structures fabricated by three-dimensional (3D) printing is demonstrated to construct 3D microwave metamaterials. The reducing activity of the PLA surface is selectively enhanced by the chemical modification involving Sn2+ in a simple wet process, thereby forming a highly conductive Ag-plated membrane only onto the PLA surface. The fabricated metamaterial composed of Ag-plated PLA and non-plated ABS parts is characterized experimentally and numerically to demonstrate the important bi-anisotropic microwave responses arising from the 3D nature of metallodielectric structures. Our approach based on a simple wet chemical process allows for the creation of highly complex 3D metal-insulator structures, thus paving the way toward the sophisticated microwave applications of the 3D printing technology.

Original languageEnglish
Article number183102
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - Oct 30 2017


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)

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