Manufacturing an array of high-quality metallic pattern layers on a dielectric substrate remains a major challenge in the development of flexible and 3-D frequency selective surfaces (FSS). This paper proposes an improved fabrication solution for the 3-D FSS based on water transfer printing (WTP) technology. The main advantages of the proposed solution are its ability to transform complicated 2-D planar FSS patterns into 3-D structures while improving both manufacturing quality and production costs. WTP technology makes use of water surface tension to keep the thin metallic patterns of the proposed FSS floating flat with the absence of a solid planar substrate. This feature enables these metallic FSS patterns to be transferred onto 3-D structures through a dipping process. To test the effectiveness of the proposed technique, the FSS was designed using computer simulation software Microwave Studio to obtain the numerical performance of the FSS structure. The WTP technology was then used to fabricate the proposed FSS prototype before its performance was tested experimentally. The measurement results agreed well with the numerical results, indicating the proposed manufacturing solution would support the development of complicated 3-D electronics devices, such as conformal antenna arrays and metamaterials.
|Publication status||Published - 3 Feb 2020|