Transport at Nanoscale Interfaces Laboratory

Optimized 3D printing of THz waveguides with cyclic olefin copolymer

Mavrona, E., Graf, J., Hack, E., & Zolliker, P. 

Optical Materials Express, 11(8), 2495-2504. (2021)

There is a need for low-cost and easily accessible optical devices for THz applications. THz devices can be manufactured rapidly with 3D printing while using THz transparent materials. In this work, we optimized the parameters for high-resolution 3D printing of a THz transparent filament, cyclic olefin copolymer (TOPAS), in order to 3D print high quality pipe THz waveguides. We used nozzles with diameters between 0.15 mm and 0.80 mm in a wide range of temperatures and speeds. We show that for high quality TOPAS 3D printing, the most important parameters are the bed and the printing temperature. The optimized 3D printing parameters for the nozzle diameter 0.15 mm were used for THz pipe waveguides with diameters in the range of 5-9 mm and cladding thickness of 0.3-0.8 mm. Transmission measurements corroborated the results predicted by simulations for core mode frequencies in the range of 250-900 GHz.