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Title:Embedded microvascular networks for electronically reconfigurable materials
Author(s):Griffin, Anthony Samuel
Advisor(s):Sottos, Nancy R.
Department / Program:Materials Science & Engineerng
Discipline:Materials Science & Engineering
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
reconfigurable antenna
coplanar waveguide
patch antenna
tunable antenna
Abstract:Microvascular networks in biological systems carry out various functions, such as damage repair, temperature regulation, and nutrient transport. Biological vasculature has inspired the use of microfluidic networks in various synthetic materials to achieve similar functionality such as vascular-based healing and cooling in structural composites. A recent use of microvascular structures in synthetic materials is for the selective alteration of electromagnetic properties of materials using conductive fluids. Specifically a Gallium-Indium alloy which is liquid at room temperature is used to reconfigure radio frequency wireless signal devices. Previous work has focused on the use of microelectromechanical systems, solid state diodes, or physical actuation to reconfigure such devices, but various problems limit the applicability of these solutions to high power applications. This thesis first describes a new set of fabrication techniques used to overcome various issues with previous applications of conductive fluids in microvascular networks for electromagnetic configurability. Vascular networks are formed in a structural epoxy which is bonded to the active device. The channels selectively contact electronic components, forming conductive pathways between components when filled with liquid metal. The fabrication techniques described are then used to fabricate two novel reconfigurable radio frequency wireless devices, a coplanar waveguide and a cross-polarization patch antenna. The coplanar waveguide achieves phase reconfiguration with a single serpentine channel design, while the cross-polarization antenna achieves polarization reconfiguration using dual 3D network architectures.
Issue Date:2015-07-22
Rights Information:Copyright 2015 Anthony Griffin
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-29
Date Deposited:August 201

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