Ultrasound experiments on acoustical activity in chiral mechanical metamaterials
T. Frenzel, J. Köpfler, E. Jung, M. Kadic, and M. Wegener
Nat. Commun. 10, 3384 (2019)
- Date: 29.07.2019
Optical activity requires chirality and is a paradigm for chirality. Here, we present experiments on its mechanical counterpart, acoustical activity. The notion “activity” refers the rotation of the linear polarization axis of a transversely polarized (optical or mechanical) wave. The rotation angle is proportional to the propagation distance and does not depend on the orientation of the incident linear polarization. This kind of reciprocal polarization rotation is distinct from nonreciprocal Faraday rotation, which requires broken time-inversion symmetry. In our experiments, we spatiotemporally resolve the motion of three-dimensional chiral microstructured polymer metamaterials, with nanometer precision and under time-harmonic excitation at ultrasound frequencies in the range from 20 to 180 kHz. We demonstrate polarization rotations as large as 22° per unit cell. These experiments pave the road for molding the polarization and direction of elastic waves in three dimensions by micropolar mechanical metamaterials.