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KIT researchers succeed in realizing a new material class
Date:5/8/2012

This press release is available in German.

The Rubicon was crossed, so to speak, at the DFG Center for Functional Nanostructures (CFN) and at the Institute of Applied Physics (AP) in Karlsruhe during the past few months. Eventually, numerous three-dimensional transformation acoustics ideas, for example inaudibility cloaks, acoustic prisms or new loudspeaker concepts, could become reality in the near future.

So far, pentamodes, proposed in 1995 by Graeme Milton and Andrej Cherkaev, have been purely theoretical: The mechanical behavior of materials such as gold or water is expressed in terms of compression and shear parameters. Whereas the phenomenon that water, for example, can hardly be compressed in a cylinder is described through the compression parameter, the fact that it can be stirred in all directions using a spoon is expressed through the shear parameters.

The word penta is derived from ancient Greek and means "five". In the case of water, the five shear parameters equal zero, and only one parameter, compression, differs from that value. In terms of parameters, the ideal state of a pentamode metamaterial corresponds to the state of water, which is why that material is referred to as a metafluid. Theoretically, any conceivable mechanical properties whatsoever can be obtained by varying the relevant parameters.

"Realizing a pentamode metamaterial is about as difficult as trying to build a scaffold from pins that must not touch but at their tips," first author Dr. Muamer Kadic explains. "The Karlsruhe prototype has been manufactured from a polymer. The mechanical behavior of the material is determined by the acuteness and length of the individual "sugar loaves". On the one hand, we must be capable of designing small sugar loaves in the nanometer range and connect them to one another at the right angle. On the other
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Contact: Monika Landgraf
presse@kit.edu
49-721-608-4714
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
Source:Eurekalert  

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