Generation of acoustic self-bending and bottle beams by phase engineering

Peng Zhang, Tongcang Li, Jie Zhu, Xuefeng Zhu, Sui Yang, Yuan Wang, Xiaobo Yin, Xiang Zhang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

207 Citations (Scopus)


Directing acoustic waves along curved paths is critical for applications such as ultrasound imaging, surgery and acoustic cloaking. Metamaterials can direct waves by spatially varying the material properties through which the wave propagates. However, this approach is not always feasible, particularly for acoustic applications. Here we demonstrate the generation of acoustic bottle beams in homogeneous space without using metamaterials. Instead, the sound energy flows through a three-dimensional curved shell in air leaving a close-to-zero pressure region in the middle, exhibiting the capability of circumventing obstacles. By designing the initial phase, we develop a general recipe for creating self-bending wave packets, which can set acoustic beams propagating along arbitrary prescribed convex trajectories. The measured acoustic pulling force experienced by a rigid ball placed inside such a beam confirms the pressure field of the bottle. The demonstrated acoustic bottle and self-bending beams have potential applications in medical ultrasound imaging, therapeutic ultrasound, as well as acoustic levitations and isolations.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4316
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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