Elegant design of carbon nanotube foams with double continuous structure for metamaterials in a broad frequency range
Carbon nanotube (CNT) foams with negative permittivity and permeability are successfully prepared by chemical vapor deposition (CVD) and post-treatment. A double negative metamaterial in the 1–1000 MHz frequency range with double continuous structure results by effectively compounding the CNT foam with a polymer material, i.e. epoxy or nanosilver silicone resin. The negative permeability is specifically attributed to the three-dimensional CNT interactions as clear from the study of the relation of the material microstructure and the macroscopic measurements. Compared to CNT foam/epoxy composites, CNT foam/nanosilver/silicone composites have a lower permeability but a more excellent electrical conductivity or permittivity. It is also shown that the carbon source time during CVD and post-pressurization can be adjusted to allow for both negative permittivity and permeability. This contribution highlights a convenient method to obtain a metamaterial in a much larger frequency range (ca. 1 to 1000 MHz) than the state-of-the-art. It thus supports the expansion of the application range of metamaterials and simplifies their preparation, which is of great significance for the wider use of these materials.