Tunable photo-responsive elastic metamaterials
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionNature Communications. 2020, 11 . 10.1038/s41467-020-16272-y
The metamaterial paradigm has allowed an unprecedented space-time control of various physical fields, including elastic and acoustic waves. Despite the wide variety of metamaterial configurations proposed so far, most of the existing solutions display a frequency response that cannot be tuned, once the structures are fabricated. Few exceptions include systems controlled by electric or magnetic fields, temperature, radio waves and mechanical stimuli, which may often be unpractical for real-world implementations. To overcome this limitation, we introduce here a polymeric 3D-printed elastic metamaterial whose transmission spectrum can be deterministically tuned by a light field. We demonstrate the reversible doubling of the width of an existing frequency band gap upon selective laser illumination. This feature is exploited to provide an elastic-switch functionality with a one-minute lag time, over one hundred cycles. In perspective, light-responsive components can bring substantial improvements to active devices for elastic wave control, such as beam-splitters, switches and filters.