Multi-tonal subwavelength metamaterial for absorption and amplification of acoustic and ultrasonic waves

Marco Boccaccio, Gian Piero Malfense Fierro, Fabrizo Bucciarelli, Michele Meo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (SciVal)


In this work, an acousto-ultrasound metamaterial-based concept is proposed to achieve high multi-tonal sound absorption at specific design frequencies and their multiple harmonics, which generally requires large and complex systems. This structure can be deployed to improve the performance of air-coupled nonlinear acoustic/ultrasound imaging by filtering unwanted fundamental ultrasound responses while amplifying high order harmonics, since nonlinear ultrasonic experiments generally necessitate advanced signal processing tools digital and pass-band filters to highlight nonlinear features. The structure proposed is an Archimedean inspired spiral cavity metamaterial with a thickness of 1/62 wavelength to achieve high multi-tonal sound absorption performances at a design frequency and the multiple harmonics. The same geometrical configuration can also be used to filter a fundamental design excitation frequency f0 and amplify second harmonic of the desired excitation frequencies, 2f0. An analytical model was developed to optimise the sound absorption and amplification frequencies of the structure with a design frequency of 690 Hz, by matching the geometrical parameters with the resonance and antiresonance mechanisms of the system. Additionally, a parallel arrangement of two Archimedean-inspired spirals is also analytically and experimentally proposed, in order to achieve harmonic absorptions at the resonant frequency of each subsystem (i.e. f01 = 850 Hz, f02 = 950 Hz). Furthermore, acoustic impedance analyses have been analytically conducted in order to physically explain all the resonance and antiresonance mechanism occurring with the proposed structures. Experimental investigations show that the proposed 3D printed metamaterial-based structures are capable to achieve multi-tonal high absorption peaks (above 90%) at the fundamental frequency f0 and odd harmonics (3f0, 5f0, etc) and sound amplification of the even harmonics (2f0 and 4f0). The results show good correlation between the predicted model and experimental results, and thus the sub-wavelength metamaterial provides promising potential for controlling and achieving high level sound absorption at low frequencies and enhancing accuracy of nonlinear ultrasound imaging applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number025024
JournalEngineering Research Express
Issue number2
Early online date13 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2021


  • Metamaterial
  • Nonlinear imaging
  • Sound absorption
  • Subwavelength

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)


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