Electromagnetic Inspired Acoustic Metamaterials: Studying the Applications of Sound-Metastructures Interactions Based on Different Wave Phenomena

This thesis deals with electromagnetic inspired acoustic metamaterials, enabling sound-matter interactions in different wave scenarios that include propagation, guided-waves, radiation, refraction, reflection and transmission. To this end, a particular emphasis is placed on introducing novel applications for acoustic metamaterials operating on each one of the aforementioned wave scenarios. A few years ago, metamaterials have been introduced as a new class of composite artificial materials, engineered to produce unusual effective material properties not readily available in nature. Electromagnetic metamaterials are probably the oldest class of metamaterials, being nowadays in the process of reaching maturity and being proposed for interesting commercial applications. On the other hand, as in most young but not yet mature emerging fields of science, acoustic metamaterials are still providing lots of fertile and unexplored ground for research and study. Despite many inherent physical differences, the propagation of electromagnetic and acoustic waves are both governed by a similar mathematical model, the so-called Helmholtz wave equation. The main purpose of this work is to leverage this amazing similarity by translating recent advances in electromagnetic metamaterials into their corresponding, previously unseen, applications in acoustics. The first contribution of this thesis is to adapt the classic electromagnetic transmission-line theory to allow the design of acoustic metamaterials. The proposed circuit-based theory finds a direct application in the design of composite right/left hand transmission-line metamaterials, which yield novel guided-wave applications for acoustic metamaterials. Then, the developed theory is leveraged to model and achieve optimal design of different acoustic metamaterial-based devices, such as leaky-wave antennas and reflector-type metasurfaces. The second part of the thesis spins around acoustic leaky-wave antennas and their different functionalities, showing that they are able to act as acoustic dispersive prisms in the refraction mode and as acoustic single sensor direction finder in the radiation mode. Studying reflection phenomena in sound-metasurface interactions constitutes the next part of this thesis, where a membrane-capped cavity is introduced performing as an ultra-thin unit-cell for reflective acoustic metasurfaces. This leads to exciting applications of the concept, like acoustic reflectarray antennas and acoustic metasurface skin-cloaks Finally, the last part of this thesis deals with transmission phenomena in acoustic metasurfaces and, especially, in orbital angular momentum metasurfaces. This concept results in the design of an innovative labyrinthine-type helicoidal unit-cell that is used for phase coding a surface and transforming impinging acoustic wavefronts into transmitted helical wavefronts.

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