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Nov 2017 Journal of physics. Condensed matter : an Institute of Physics journal

Spanning the scales of mechanical metamaterials using time domain simulations in transformed crystals, graphene flakes and structured soils.


Aznavourian R, Puvirajesinghe TM, Brûlé S, Enoch S, Guenneau S


We begin with a brief historical survey of discoveries of quasi-crystals and graphene, and then introduce the concept of transformation crystallography, which consists of the application of geometric transforms to periodic structures. We consider motifs with three-fold, four-fold and six-fold symmetries according to the crystallographic restriction theorem. Furthermore, we define motifs with five-fold symmetry such as quasi-crystals generated by a cut-and-projection method from periodic structures in higher-dimensional space. We analyze elastic wave propagation in the transformed crystals and (Penrose-type) quasi-crystals with the finite difference time domain freeware SimSonic. We consider geometric transforms underpinning the design of seismic cloaks with square, circular, elliptical and peanut shapes in the context of honeycomb crystals that can be viewed as scaled-up versions of graphene. Interestingly, the use of morphing techniques leads to the design of cloaks with interpolated geometries reminiscent of Victor Vasarely’s artwork. Employing the case of transformed graphene-like (honeycomb) structures allows one to draw useful analogies between large-scale seismic metamaterials such as soils structured with columns of concrete or grout with soil and nanoscale biochemical metamaterials. We further identify similarities in designs of cloaks for elastodynamic and hydrodynamic waves and cloaks for diffusion (heat or mass) processes, as these are underpinned by geometric transforms. Experimental data extracted from field test analysis of soil structured with boreholes demonstrates the application of crystallography to large scale phononic crystals, coined as seismic metamaterials, as they might exhibit low frequency stop bands. This brings us to the outlook of mechanical metamaterials, with control of phonon emission in graphene through extreme anisotropy, attenuation of vibrations of suspension bridges via low frequency stop bands and the concept of transformed meta-cities. We conclude that these novel materials hold strong applications spanning different disciplines or across different scales from biophysics to geophysics.

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