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IRG-III Highlight

Fibers that create electrical signals from sound

Image: Structure of geometrically-shaped sound responsive fibers. a, Schematic of the fabrication process of a cylindrical sound sensing fiber. A SEM micrograph of the cross section of a cylindrical fiber is show in the inset. b. Schematic of the fabrication process of an integrated piezoelectric rectangular fiber. An optical cavity is embedded with the piezoelectric structure in a preform. The preform is thermally drawn into a micro-structured fiber. A SEM micrograph of the cross section of an integrated piezoelectric fiber is shown on the right. c. Near-field pressure patterns of the acoustic emission at 1.3MHz from a circular fiber, a triangular fiber and a rectangular fiber with cross-sectional dimensions around 2 mm. d, Two-dimensional device fabric constructed by knitting the piezoelectric/FP fibers as threads. Inset is a photograph of an individual fiber.

Author(s): Authors: Y. Fink (MIT) and J.D. Joannopoulos (MIT)

Imagine hollow fibers that can transmit light with unusually high efficiency and yet are fitted with electrically conducting electrodes and sound sensing plastics. Fink and Joannopoulos have created a new class of fibers that, in contrast to traditional passive fibers, can create electrical energy from sound vibrations. In addition, sound can be used to control or actively modulate the transmission of light through the fiber. When woven into large-area fabrics, these fibers can be utilized to create imaging devices, pressure sensors and can be used in applications that require non-destructive testing and monitoring.

This work was supported by the Army Research Office through the ISN, the National Science Foundation through the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center Program, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the Department of Energy.

S. Egusa, Z. Wang, N. Chocat, Z.M. Ruff, A.M. Stolyarov, D. Shemuly, F. Sorin, P.T. Rakich, J.D. Joannopoulos, Y. Fink, Nature Materials. 9, 643-648, (2010).

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