Materials could benefit imaging and military enhancements such as elastic cloaking
Sound waves passing through the air, objects that break a body of water and cause ripples, or shockwaves from earthquakes all are considered "elastic" waves. These waves travel at the surface or through a material without causing any permanent changes to the substance's makeup.
Now, engineering researchers at the University of Missouri have developed a material that has the ability to control these waves, creating possible medical, military and commercial applications with the potential to greatly benefit society.
"Methods of controlling and manipulating subwavelength acoustic and elastic waves have proven elusive and difficult; however, the potential applications--once the methods are refined--are tremendous," said Guoliang Huang, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering in the College of Engineering at MU.
"Our team has developed a material that, if used in the manufacture of new devices, could have the ability to sense sound and elastic waves. By manipulating these waves to our advantage, we would have the ability to create materials that could greatly benefit society--from imaging to military enhancements such as elastic cloaking--the possibilities truly are endless."
In the past, scientists have used a combination of materials such as metal and rubber to effectively 'bend' and control waves. Huang and his team designed a material using a single component: steel. The engineered structural material possesses the ability to control the increase of acoustical or elastic waves. Improvements to broadband signals and super-imaging devices also are possibilities.
The material was made in a single steel sheet using lasers to engrave "chiral," or geometric microstructure patterns, which are asymmetrical to their mirror images (see photo). It's the first such material to be made out of a single medium. Huang and his team intend to introduce elements they can control that will prove its usefulness in many fields and applications.
"In its current state, the metal is a passive material, meaning we need to introduce other elements that will help us control the elastic waves we send to it," Huang said. "We're going to make this material much more active by integrating smart materials like microchips that are controllable. This will give us the ability to effectively 'tune in' to any elastic sound or elastic wave frequency and generate the responses we'd like; this manipulation gives us the means to control how it reacts to what's surrounding it."
Going forward, Huang said there are numerous possibilities for the material to control elastic waves including super-resolution sensors, acoustic and medical hearing devices, as well as a "superlens" that could significantly advance super-imaging, all thanks to the ability to more directly focus the elastic waves.
The research began five years ago during Huang's tenure at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock and was funded by a grant from the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research. Byung-Lip (Les) Lee served as program manager. The study, "Negative refraction of elastic waves at the deep-subwavelength scale in a single-phase metamaterial," recently was published in Nature Communications.
Editor's Note: For more on this story, please see: http://engineering.
Jeff Sossamon | EurekAlert!
Less is more to produce top-notch 2D materials
20.11.2017 | The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)
The stacked colour sensor
16.11.2017 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
20.11.2017 | Earth Sciences
20.11.2017 | Earth Sciences
20.11.2017 | Life Sciences