Metamaterials based on polymer dispersions of nanoparticles and particles of copper obtained by cathodic current pulse electrolysis

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In the present paper a novel group of electromagnetic metamaterials as well as the method of their fabrication is presented. The studied metamaterials are polymer composites and nanocomposites made of polymer matrix/host (ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA), polyethylene, polypropylene etc.) filled with copper flakes, of micrometer and/or nanometer size, as the conducting inclusions. The copper filler flakes were obtained by cathodic current pulse electrolysis from copper sulfate electrolytes at the stainless steel electrodes. SEM analysis showed that the morphology and structure of the copper deposit can be precisely controlled by applying different kind of current pulse and reversed current pulsed electrolysis. The polymer composite metamaterials formed by extrusion of small beads of polymer mixed with the copper flakes consisted of polymer matrix and copper flakes, ranging in length from 1 to 500 micrometers, and ranging in thickness from 80 nm to 2000 nm. The concentration of the copper flakes ranged from 0.5 wt% to 40 wt%, depending on the applications and required electromagnetic and mechanical properties. The studied materials were found to exhibit effective magnetic permeability that was smaller than unity, which is indicative of the typical properties of metamaterials. Present development solves technological and economical problems related to modern microelectronics methods which are currently mainly used for metamaterial fabrication.

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