Topological metamaterials are a new class of materials that support topological modes such as edge modes and interface modes, which are commonly immune to scattering and imperfections. This novelty has been the subject of extensive research in many branches of physics such as electronics, photonics, phononics, and acoustics. The nontrivial topological properties related to the presence of topological modes are tipically found in periodic media. However, it was recently demonstrated that structures called quasicrystals may also exhibit nontrivial topological behavior attributed to dimensions higher than that of the quasicrystal. While quasiperiodicity has received a lot of attention in the fields of crystallography and photonics, research into quasiperiodic elastic structures has been scarce. In this paper, we show how the concepts of quasiperiodicity may be applied to the design of topological mechanical metamaterials. We start by investigating the boundary modes present in quasiperiodic 1D phononic lattices. These modes have the interesting property of being localized at either one of the two different boundaries depending on the value of an additional parameter, which is remnant of the higher dimension. A smooth variation of this parameter in either time or a spatial dimension can lead to a robust transfer of energy between two sites of the structure. We present an idealized mechanical system composed by an array of coupled rods that may be used as a platform for realizing this kind of robust transfer of energy. These are preliminary investigations into a entirely new class of structures which may lead to novel engineering applications.
Matheus I. N. Rosa, Raj K. Pal, José R. F. Arruda, and Massimo Ruzzene, "Boundary modes in quasiperiodic elastic structures," Proc. SPIE 10596, Behavior and Mechanics of Multifunctional Materials and Composites XII, 1059606 (Presented at SPIE Smart Structures and Materials + Nondestructive Evaluation and Health Monitoring: March 05, 2018; Published: 22 March 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2300887.
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