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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)