Research ArticleMATERIALS SCIENCE

Bioinspired metagel with broadband tunable impedance matching

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Science Advances  30 Oct 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 44, eabb3641
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abb3641

Abstract

To maximize energy transmission from a source through a media, the concept of impedance matching has been established in electrical, acoustic, and optical engineering. However, existing design of acoustic impedance matching, which extends exactly by a quarter wavelength, sets a fundamental limit of narrowband transmission. Here, we report a previously unknown class of bioinspired metagel impedance transformers to overcome this limit. The transformer embeds a two-dimensional metamaterial matrix of steel cylinders into hydrogel. Using experimental data of the biosonar from the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin, we demonstrate through theoretical analysis that broadband transmission is achieved when the bioinspired acoustic impedance function is introduced. Furthermore, we experimentally show that the metagel device offers efficient implementation in broadband underwater ultrasound detection with the benefit of being soft and tunable. The bioinspired two-dimensional metagel breaks the length-wavelength dependence, which paves a previously unexplored way for designing next-generation broadband impedance matching devices in diverse wave engineering.

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