Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientists 'bend' elastic waves with new metamaterials that could have commercial applications

23.01.2015

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.


Huang developed a metamaterial that refracts acoustic and elastic waves creating possible applications in super-imaging devices.

Credit: Shelby Kardell

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.missouri.edu/2015/01/associate-professor-finds-breakthrough-in-negative-elastic-wave-refraction/

Media Contact

Jeff Sossamon
sossamonj@missouri.edu
573-882-3346

 @mizzounews

http://www.missouri.edu 

Jeff Sossamon | EurekAlert!

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht Barely scratching the surface: A new way to make robust membranes
13.12.2018 | DOE/Argonne National Laboratory

nachricht Topological material switched off and on for the first time
11.12.2018 | ARC Centre of Excellence in Future Low-Energy Electronics Technologies

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.

Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...

Im Focus: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

14.12.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tangled magnetic fields power cosmic particle accelerators

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

In search of missing worlds, Hubble finds a fast evaporating exoplanet

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>