Dissertation Defense: Randy T. Ganye

Title: High Wave vector acoustic metamaterials: Fundamental studies and applications

Committee Members

  • Professor Miao Yu, Chair
  • Professor Amr Baz
  • Professor Balakumar Balachandran
  • Professor Sarah Bergbreiter
  • Professor Timothy Horiuchi, Dean’s Representative

Date & Time: Wednesday, May 27th at 10:30 AM

Abstract: Acoustic metamaterials are artificially engineered structures with subwavelength unit cells that hold extraordinary acoustic properties. Their ability to manipulate acoustic waves in ways that are not readily possible in naturally occurring materials have garnered much attention from researchers in recent years. In this dissertation work, acoustic metamaterials that enable wave propagation with high wave vector values are studied. These materials render several key properties including energy confinement and transport, wave control enhancement, and enhancement of acoustic radiation, which are exploited for enhancing acoustic wave emission and reception.

The dissertation work is summarized as follows: First, to enable experimental studies of the deep subwavelength cavities in these metamaterials, a low dimensional fiber-optic probe was developed, which allows direct characterization of the intrinsic properties of the metamaterials without seriously disrupting the acoustic fields. Second, low dimensional acoustic metamaterials for enhancing acoustic reception were realized and studied. These metamaterials were demonstrated to achieve both passive and active functionalities including passive signal amplification and frequency filtering, as well as active tuning for switching and pulse retardation control. Third, a metamaterial emitter was realized and studied, which is capable of enhancing the radiative properties of an embedded emitter. Parametric studies enhanced the understanding of the effects of different geometric parameters on the radiation performance of the structure. Finally, the metamaterial emitter and receiver were combined to form a metamaterial-based sonar system. For the first time, the superior performance of the metamaterial enhanced sonar system over conventional sonar systems was analytically and experimentally demonstrated. As a proof of concept, a sonar robotic platform equipped with the metamaterial system was shown to
possess remarkably better tracking performance compared to the conventional system.

Through this dissertation work, an enhanced understanding of high-k acoustic metamaterials has been achieved and their applications in acoustic sensing, emission enhancement, and sonar systems have been demonstrated.