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Published October 2014 | Supplemental Material
Journal Article Open

Granular acoustic switches and logic elements


Electrical flow control devices are fundamental components in electrical appliances and computers; similarly, optical switches are essential in a number of communication, computation and quantum information-processing applications. An acoustic counterpart would use an acoustic (mechanical) signal to control the mechanical energy flow through a solid material. Although earlier research has demonstrated acoustic diodes or circulators, no acoustic switches with wide operational frequency ranges and controllability have been realized. Here we propose and demonstrate an acoustic switch based on a driven chain of spherical particles with a nonlinear contact force. We experimentally and numerically verify that this switching mechanism stems from a combination of nonlinearity and bandgap effects. We also realize the OR and AND acoustic logic elements by exploiting the nonlinear dynamical effects of the granular chain. We anticipate these results to enable the creation of novel acoustic devices for the control of mechanical energy flow in high-performance ultrasonic devices.

Additional Information

© 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. Received 28 Feb 2014; Accepted 19 Sep 2014; Published 30 Oct 2014. We thank the support from US-AFOSR (FA9550-12-1-0332), ONR (N000141410388) and NSF (CMMI-1414748, CMMI-1000337, CMMI-844540). P.A. is supported by NASA Office of the Chief Technologist's Space Technology Research Fellowship #NNX11AN65H. We are grateful to G. Gantzounis for his valuable input. Author contributions: F.L. and C.D. conceived the concept. F.L., P.A. and J.Y. designed and performed the experiments. P.G.K. and C.D. provided guidance and contributed to the analysis. All authors discussed the data and contributed to the writing of the paper.

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August 20, 2023
October 18, 2023