Implementation of dispersion-free slow acoustic wave propagation and phase engineering with helical-structured metamaterials

Xuefeng Zhu, Kun Li, Peng Zhang, Jie Zhu, Jintao Zhang, Chao Tian, Shengchun Liu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

258 Citations (Scopus)


The ability to slow down wave propagation in materials has attracted significant research interest. A successful solution will give rise to manageable enhanced wave-matter interaction, freewheeling phase engineering and spatial compression of wave signals. The existing methods are typically associated with constructing dispersive materials or structures with local resonators, thus resulting in unavoidable distortion of waveforms. Here we show that, with helical-structured acoustic metamaterials, it is now possible to implement dispersion-free sound deceleration. The helical-structured metamaterials present a non-dispersive high effective refractive index that is tunable through adjusting the helicity of structures, while the wavefront revolution plays a dominant role in reducing the group velocity. Finally, we numerically and experimentally demonstrate that the helical-structured metamaterials with designed inhomogeneous unit cells can turn a normally incident plane wave into a self-Accelerating beam on the prescribed parabolic trajectory. The helical-structured metamaterials will have profound impact to applications in explorations of slow wave physics.
Original languageEnglish
Article number11731
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusPublished - 20 May 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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