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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Design of materials Configurations for enhanced phononic and electronic properties

  • Author(s): Daraio, Chiara
  • et al.

The discovery of novel nonlinear dynamic and electronic phenomena is presented for the specific cases of granular materials and carbon nanotubes. This research was conducted for designing and constructing optimized macro-, micro- and nano-scale structural configurations of materials, and for studying their phononic and electronic behavior. Variation of composite arrangements of granular elements with different elastic properties in a linear chain-of-sphere, Y-junction or 3-D configurations led to a variety of novel phononic phenomena and interesting physical properties, which can be potentially useful for security, communications, mechanical and biomedical engineering applications. Mechanical and electronic properties of carbon nanotubes with different atomic arrangements and microstructures were also investigated. Electronic properties of Y-junction configured carbon nanotubes exhibit an exciting transistor switch behavior which is not seen in linear configuration nanotubes. Strongly nonlinear materials were designed and fabricated using novel and innovative concepts. Due to their unique strongly nonlinear and anisotropic nature, novel wave phenomena have been discovered. Specifically, violations of Snell's law were detected and a new mechanism of wave interaction with interfaces between NTPCs (Nonlinear Tunable Phononic Crystals) was established. Polymer-based systems were tested for the first time, and the tunability of the solitary waves speed was demonstrated. New materials with transformed signal propagation speed in the manageable range of 10-100 m/s and signal amplitude typical for audible speech have been developed. The enhancing of the mitigation of solitary and shock waves in 1-D chains were demonstrated and a new protective medium was designed for practical applications. 1-D, 2-D and 3-D strongly nonlinear system have been investigated providing a broad impact on the whole area of strongly nonlinear wave dynamics and creating experimental basis for new theories and models. Potential applications include (1) designing of a sound scrambler/decorder for secure voice communications, (2) improving invisibility of submarine to acoustic detection signal, (3) noise and shock wave mitigation for protection of vibration sensitive devices such as head mounted vision devices, (4) drastic compression of acoustic signals into centimeter regime impulses for artificial ear implants, hearing aid and devices for ease of conversion to electronic signals and processing, and acoustic delay lines for communication applications

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