The researchers believe that other MEGOs that absorb, enhance, reflect, or bend waves in new ways could be created using patterned 3D printing. The current Tufts study utilizes stereolithography. Other 3D-printing technologies, such as two-photon polymerization, could provide printing resolution down to 200 nm, which would enable the fabrication of even finer metamaterials that could detect and manipulate electromagnetic signals of even smaller wavelengths, potentially including visible light. As resolution in 3D printing improves, MEGO devices could reach terahertz frequencies.
MEDFORD, Mass., April 9, 2019 — 3D-printed metamaterials developed by a Tufts University engineering team display properties not found in conventional materials. The fabrication methods used by the team demonstrate how stereolithography-based 3D printers can be used to create 3D optical devices through a process that fuses metamaterials with geometrical optics, or MEGO. The MEGO devices can be fabricated at a lower cost than devices made using typical fabrication methods.