MS in Electrical Engineering (M.S.E.E.)
Degree Granting Department
Gokhan Mumcu, Ph.D.
Thomas Weller, Ph.D.
Jing Wang, Ph.D.
3-D printing, additive manufacturing, aperture coupled, microstrip antennas
Design and performance of fully-printed Ku-band aperture coupled patch antennas fabricated by a direct digital manufacturing (DDM) approach that integrates fused deposition modeling (FDM) of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) thermoplastic with in-situ micro-dispensing of conductive silver paste (CB028) are reported. Microstrip line characterizations are performed and demonstrate that misalignment of ABS substrate deposition direction with microstrip line micro-dispensing direction can degrade the effective conductivity up to 60% within the Ku-band, and must be taken into consideration in antenna array feed network designs. Specically, over 125 µm thick ABS substrate, RF loss of 0.052 dB/mm is obtained at 18 GHz, demonstrating the feasibility of additively manufactured RF devices within the Ku-band. By varying ABS inll ratios and resorting to multi-layer printing with custom substrate thicknesses, single and stacked patch antennas are designed, fabricated, and characterized with bandwidth performances up to 35%, and radiation efficiencies up to 90%. This extensive utilization of the design flexibilities provided by the direct digital manufacturing (i.e. customized substrate thicknesses, multiple substrates with varying infill ratios, and in-situ micro-dispensing of conductors) distinguishes the present work from the recently reported 3-D printed antennas. Compared to the existing work in literature, the antennas presented within this thesis stand out as being fully printed structures, operating in higher frequency range (i.e. Ku-band), and exhibiting high radiation efficiencies with wide bandwidth performances.
Scholar Commons Citation
Kacar, Merve, "Direct Digital Manufacturing of Multi-layer Wideband Ku-band Patch Antennas" (2017). USF Tampa Graduate Theses and Dissertations.