First step towards “programmable materials“
Although the “programmable material” still only works in a one-dimensional model construction, it has already demonstrated it unusual capabilities: The research project entitled Phononic Crystal with Adaptive Connectivity has just been published in the journal Advanced Materials (www.advmat.de). The first step towards mechanical components with freely programmable properties has thus been achieved.
The working model used by the researchers consists of a one-meter by one-centimeter aluminum plate that is one millimeter thick. This sheet-metal strip can vibrate at different frequencies. In order to control the wave propagation, ten small aluminum cylinders (7 mm thick, 1 cm high) are attached to the metal. Between the sheet and the cylinders sit piezo discs, which can be stimulated electronically and change their thickness in a flash. This ultimately enables the team headed by project supervisor Andrea Bergamini to control exactly whether and how waves are allowed to propagate in the sheet-metal strip. The aluminum strip thus turns into a so-called adaptive phononic crystal – a material with adaptable properties.
Adaptation in fractions of a second
The piezo controls can now be set in such a way that waves are able to propagate through the sheet-metal strip “perfectly normally”, i.e. as though no aluminum cylinders were attached to it. Another configuration enables a certain frequency spectrum of the waves to be absorbed. And this muffling is variable as the piezo elements can alter their elastic properties electronically in fractions of a second – from low to high stiffness. Bergamini explains what could develop from the research results: “Imagine you produce a sheet of metal, imprinted with an electronic circuit and small piezo elements at regular intervals. This sheet metal could be programmed electronically to block a certain vibration frequency. The interesting thing is that even if you cut off part of the sheet, the waves in the cropped section would largely spread in the same way as in the initial piece.” This method could be used on three-dimensional components.
Such a “metamaterial” could fundamentally revolutionize mechanical engineering and plant construction. Until now, the vibration properties were already determined in the selection of material and the geometry of the part. In future, the material could react to current vibration readings and adapt its vibration properties at lightning speed.
Further research on “programmable materials“
During the Phononic Crystal with Adaptive Connectivity research project, Empa-researcher Bergamini collaborated with Paolo Ermanni’s group at ETH Zurich and Massimo Ruzzene from Georgia Institute of Technology. In a follow-up project, the programmability of the prototype is to be expanded: “Until now, every piezo element has reacted to vibrations alone, independent of its neighbor,” explains Bergamini. “As the next step, we want to interconnect the elements with each other to be able to control them jointly or in a coordinated fashion.”
Info: Metamaterials (Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metamaterial)
Metamaterials are artificial media structured on a size scale smaller than the wavelength of external stimuli. Materials of interest exhibit properties not found in nature, such as negative index of refraction. They are cellular assemblies of multiple elements fashioned from materials including metals and plastics, arranged in periodic patterns. Metamaterials gain their properties not from their constituents, but from their exactingly-designed structures. Their precise shape, geometry, size, orientation and arrangement can affect light or sound in a manner that is unachievable with conventional materials.
Dr. Andrea Bergamini | newswise
From ancient fossils to future cars
21.10.2016 | University of California - Riverside
Study explains strength gap between graphene, carbon fiber
20.10.2016 | Rice University
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...
'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine
21.10.2016 | Information Technology
21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences