Negative refraction and backward waves in layered acoustic metamaterials

Johan Christensen, F. Javier García de Abajo

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We investigate layered acoustic metamaterials capable of exhibiting a wide variety of wave propagation phenomena, including backward and forward waves with and without negative refraction. The metamaterials are formed by periodically perforated hard plates, which we describe analytically in the limit of small holes compared to both the period and the separation between plates. In particular, we derive expressions for the index of refraction and the transmission and reflection coefficients of finite slabs. We provide illustrative examples of near fields for all four combinations of backward and forward waves with and without negative refraction, along with dispersion diagrams that explain the observed behavior. A comprehensive study of the range of geometrical parameters in which these distinct phenomena are observed is presented as well. These metamaterials hold great promise for achieving full control of sound using simple structures, with potential application to acoustic technologies relying on subwavelength control and imaging of sound.
Original languageEnglish
Article number024301
JournalPhysical Review B Condensed Matter
Issue number2
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • NEGATIVE refraction


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