Media Report: Formi 3DP Inc. develops innovative Printing Electronic solutions to a government challenge
Demand for spectrum to support new mobile and fixed wireless service offerings threatens to outstrip available supply. Most wireless mobile communication today takes place in the 6 GHz and below bands. Opening access to higher bands at millimeter-wave frequencies (above 24 GHz) can provide relief and enable new Smart City applications. However, the use of higher frequency bands presents significant technical challenges, namely poorer propagation around objects and through building materials. The development of new solutions, building products, tools and practices will be required to better engineer the environment to control millimeter-wave frequency propagation. of
One method to manage interference and enhance the transmission and reception of millimeter-wave RF signals includes the use of Frequency Selective Engineered Surfaces (FSES). FSES are thin, repetitive surfaces specially designed to reflect, transmit or absorb electromagnetic fields based on the frequency of the field. FSES patterns are tuned to reflect specific wavelengths allowing users to ensure coverage in hard-to-reach areas, therefore minimizing the expense of RF transmitters throughout the environment. The FSES can also be placed to mitigate interference between adjacent wireless access points in dense environments.
To realize the wide-scale deployment of FSES, new, economical, scalable printed electronics (PE) techniques are required. Special considerations must be given to function, cost, and design flexibility. To successfully meet the recent Innovation Solutions Canada challenge, Formi relied upon a new patent pending technology for printing high-performance flexible electronic circuits. This new React-on Demand (RoD) system features particle-free silver ink which is inkjet printed onto a pre-prepared, low cost PET film. The ink instantly reacts with the surface to produce highly conductive silver traces. This proposed method occurs at room temperature, requires no toxic nanomaterials, no post-treatment, and no harsh experimental conditions. The use of digital inkjet printing techniques readily allow for immediate changes where new custom FSS designs are needed. This technique is proven to be a cost-effective, simple, and safe alternative to current methods.