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Dissertation Defence: Exploring MXene Nanomaterial for Lightweight Microwave Components Using an Additive-Manufacturing Approach

June 18 at 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Omid Niksan, supervised by Prof. Mohammad H. Zarifi, will defend their dissertation titled “Exploring MXene Nanomaterial for Lightweight Microwave Components Using an Additive-Manufacturing Approach” in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering.

An abstract for Omid Niksan’s dissertation is included below.

Examinations are open to all members of the campus community as well as the general public. Please email mohammad.zarifi@ubc.ca to receive the Zoom link for this defence.


With advancements in space technology, intelligent wireless environments, and soft robotics, requirements such as enhanced manufacturing, mass-load reduction, and/or multi functionality of a component have become prominent. This dissertation includes a series of experimental research conducted to demonstrate lightweight and multi functional RF/microwave components utilizing an emerging family of nanomaterials, namely MXenes.
First, the microwave resonance of freestanding MXene films was demonstrated, leveraging the high electrical bulk conductivity. The performance is evaluated in humid conditions and the effects of MXene’s processing and treatment, including the effect of flake sizes, is investigated. The large-flake MXene films demonstrated higher electrical conductivity, higher resonance quality factor (150 and 35 for unloaded, and loaded factors), and less fluctuation in the performance (~1.7% total shift in resonance frequency).
Next, high-efficiency and lightweight additive manufactured microwave waveguiding components enabled by MXene coating are shown. The waveguiding functionality was observed from 8-33 GHz, covering low earth orbit (LEO) frequencies, with a power handling capability of up to 10 dB and a transmission coefficient of 93%. After only one dip-coating cycle, the coated waveguide performed only 2% below an eight times heavier metallic equivalent.
Finally, strain-enabled adjustable performance is shown by applying a pattern of MXene on Kirigami-inspired (Kirigami art is a derivative of Origami art, mainly involving low profile structures and sheets) prototypes operating in S, C, and X, (2-4 GHz, 4-8 GHz, and 8-12 GHz) frequency bands. Under applied quasi-axial stress, the Kirigami design allows for displacements of individual resonant elements, changing the overall electromagnetic performance. The frequency selective surface under stress, could steer a beam of scattered waves by as much as 25º, showcasing a proof of concept for flexible and mechanically reconfigurable microwave components.
Employing MXene nanomaterial as a conductive element in RF/microwave components potentiates characteristics such as light weight, multi functionality, and relatively straight forward fabrication processes at room conditions. Our findings indicate a significant potential of the MXene nanomaterial for the development of RF/microwave components, for applications such as space explorations, where mass is at a premium and additive manufacturing is sought after.


June 18
1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Additional Info

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Yes (see event description)
Event Type
Thesis Defence
Research and Innovation, Science, Technology and Engineering
Alumni, Community, Faculty, Staff, Families, Partners and Industry, Students, Postdoctoral Fellows and Research Associates