A super-material that bends, shapes and focuses sound waves that pass through it has been invented by scientists.
The creation pushes the boundaries of metamaterials – a new class of finely-engineered surfaces that perform nature-defying tasks.
These materials have already shown remarkable results with light manipulation, allowing scientists to create a real-life version of Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak, for example.
But a research team from the Universities of Sussex and Bristol have now shown that they also work with sound waves, which could transform medical imaging and personal audio.
Finely shaped sound fields are used in medical imaging and therapy as well as in a wide range of consumer products such as audio spotlights and ultrasonic haptics. The research published today (Monday 27 February 2017) in Nature Communications shows a simple and cheap way of creating these shaped sound waves using acoustic metamaterials.
The collaborative research team assembled a metamaterial layer out of lots of small bricks that each coil up space. The space coiling bricks act to slow down the sound meaning that incoming sound waves can be transformed into any required sound field.
The new metamaterial layers could be used in many applications. Large versions could be used to direct or focus sound to a particular location and form an audio hotspot. Much smaller versions could be used to focus high intensity ultrasound to destroy tumours deep within the body. Here, a metamaterial layer could be tailor-made to fit the body of a patient and tuned to focus the ultrasound waves where they are needed most. In both cases the layer could be fitted to existing loudspeaker technology and be made rapidly and cheaply.
Dr Gianluca Memoli, from the Interact Lab at the University of Sussex who led the study, said: “Our metamaterial bricks can be 3D printed and then assembled together to form any sound field you can imagine. We also showed how this can be achieved with only a small number of different bricks. You can think of a box of our metamaterial bricks as a do-it-yourself acoustics kit.
Professor Sriram Subramanian, Head of the Interact Lab at the University of Sussex, added: “We want to create acoustic devices that manipulate sound with the same ease and flexibility with which LCDs and projectors do to light. Our research opens the door to new acoustic devices combining diffraction, scattering and refraction, and enables the future development of fully digital spatial sound modulators, which can be controlled in real time with minimal resources.”
Bruce Drinkwater, Professor of Ultrasonics at the University of Bristol, explained: “In the future I think there will be many exciting applications of this technology. We are now working on making the metamaterial layers dynamically reconfigurable. This will mean we can make cheap imaging systems which could be used either for medical diagnostics or crack detection.”
Learn more: Sound-shaping super-material invented
[osd_subscribe categories=’metamaterials’ placeholder=’Email Address’ button_text=’Subscribe Now for any new posts on the topic “METAMATERIALS”‘]
Receive an email update when we add a new METAMATERIALS article.
The Latest on: Super-material
via Google News
The Latest on: Super-material
- What AI could be like when you plug a computer into your brainon January 16, 2022 at 3:00 am
Everyone expects a strong AI to be built by an engineer, but in reality, a doctor might be standing at the cradle of real AI.
- Bionic Eyes: Developing the Next Generation of Artificial Vision Aidson January 15, 2022 at 6:50 pm
A new technology solution that will provide low-power systems for use in bionic eyes, has been jointly developed by academics from the Harbin Institute of Technology in China and Northumbria ...
- Samsung demos MRAM chip with embedded compute for AIon January 13, 2022 at 3:40 am
Samsung has demonstrated an in-memory computing MRAM chip processing stored data, and accurately working on AI problems such as face detection. A Nature paper is coming to explain how it was done This ...
- Synapse Design, a QuEST Global Company, joins TSMC Design Center Alliance (DCA)on January 11, 2022 at 10:39 am
companies who choose the Synapse proven end-to-end hardware and software design solutions targeting Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Data Center, IoT, automotive/autonomous, multimedia ...
- Salient Global Acquires Data Technology Company ICX Media and Its 100 Million Patented Rich Profiles™on January 7, 2022 at 4:04 am
ICX includes patented technology and algorithms that leverage proprietary data science and artificial intelligence ... be a key contributor to Salient Synapse™, a proprietary suite of data ...
- Synapse Design, a QuEST Global Company, joins TSMC Design Center Alliance (DCA)on January 5, 2022 at 12:56 pm
companies who choose the Synapse proven end-to-end hardware and software design solutions targeting Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Data Center, IoT, automotive/autonomous, multimedia, ...
- Malaysia's Aerodyne buys key stake in AI firm Synape Innovationon January 5, 2022 at 12:52 am
Aerodyne Group is buying a principal stake Synapse Innovation Sdn Bhd (Synapse) to supercharge its prowess in artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics.
- Aerodyne to acquire principal stake in synapse to strengthen AI, data analyticson January 4, 2022 at 9:48 pm
Aerodyne Group has signed an agreement to acquire a “principal stake” in Synapse Innovation Sdn Bhd to “supercharge the group’s prowess in artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics,” as well as ...
via Bing News