4 August 2011

New EPSRC award to study Active Metamaterials

We are pleased to announce that the department has been awarded a new research grant.

Special congratulations is due to Dr Simon Pope for winning the EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council)  first grant award of £94K for the project titled "Active Metamaterials for Control of Sound and Vibration". The award is for the period of 18 months from October 2011 to March 2013.

More about the project

Metamaterial_cloaking illustrationMetamaterials have been excitedly reported in the news recently. Novel applications of these materials include an acoustic invisibility cloak and sub-wavelength imaging devices.

The key aims of the project are to develop metamaterial designs which solve two of the significant limitations of current metamaterials. The novel characteristics of current metamaterials are limited to a narrow frequency band fixed at manufacture. This severely limits their application. The project aims to improve this repsonse by embedding active elements in the material so the response can be controlled and adapted. This leads to materials which have a significantly enhanced flexibility and as a consequence are much more applicable.

Most current metamaterials require a fluid or gas as one of the key components in their construction. This severely limits their application to many problems, for example those which are embedded in a moving fluid. The active approach provides the ability to emulate key components of metamaterials using a control system. By intrinsically removing these components from the material, the limiting condition of requiring a background fluid is removed. The active approach thus leads to the possibility of creating a completely solid metamaterial.