UC Berkeley researchers borrow principles of resonance to develop a new material that captures a sound waves fine details
Using the same principles that help create a guitars complex tones, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have developed a new material that holds promise for revolutionizing the field of ultrasound imaging.
The substance, dubbed an "ultrasonic metamaterial," responds differently to sound waves than any substance found in nature. Within a decade, the researchers report, the technology they developed to create the material could be used to vastly enhance image resolution of ultrasound, while at the same time allowing for the miniaturization of acoustic devices at any given frequency.
"Basically, the resonators work together, supporting a much higher modulation of the acoustic wave," Fang said. "They are reacting as a very precise ruler, allowing us to measure the finer features of the wave."
This ability provides the basis for the materials usefulness in ultrasound imaging. One of the factors limiting resolution quality of sonograms is the ability of the ultrasound lens to capture sound waves. Currently, these lenses are made with elastic materials such as polymers. The elasticity of the materials is what allows them to capture and focus the waves. But there is a limit to the finest resolution that they can capture.
"With this new material with a negative modulus, all the limits can be overcome," Fang said.
The material that Zhangs research group fabricated is 55 centimeters long and houses 60 resonators. In its present form, it can be used only for one frequency and can capture sound from only one direction. The groups plan, said Zhang, is to develop "three-dimensional" materials that will not only be able to capture sound from every direction, but will also be tunable. That is, the size of the resonators will be adjustable so that the material can respond to any frequency. Once they have designed and tested such a material, Zhang expects to be able to use microfabrication techniques to build materials with hundreds of thousands of resonators.
Because its resonators are many times smaller than wavelengths of the sound wave, Zhang said, the material can be used to make compact sonar and ultrasonic devices. Conventional lenses in these devices must be at least as large as the waves they are meant to capture. Sonar devices, which use long-length waves, would particularly benefit from this miniaturization.
The other researchers who contributed to the study are Dongjuan Xi, a former graduate student of Zhangs; Jianyi Xu, a visiting scholar from Nanjing University, who was a member of Zhangs lab when the work was conducted; and Muralidhar Ambati and Werayut Srituravanich, Ph.D. students of Zhangs.
Liese Greensfelder | EurekAlert!
Physics, photosynthesis and solar cells
01.12.2016 | University of California - Riverside
New process produces hydrogen at much lower temperature
01.12.2016 | Waseda University
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy