Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis recently invented a technique for generating ultrasound waves that can self-bend, like the rainbow.
Airy beams are a class of acoustic waves that move on a curved, arch-like trajectory and can auto-focus around obstacles that are directly in the beam’s path, which makes them well suited for ultrasound applications in biomedical imaging, therapy, non-destructive testing and particle manipulation.
However, generating Airy beams in water requires large, expensive equipment, which has limited their broad applications in ultrasound.
Hong Chen, PhD, associate professor of biomedical engineering in the McKelvey School of Engineering and of radiation oncology at the School of Medicine, and members of her Ultrasound Laboratory designed and 3D printed a flexible and versatile tool known as Airy beam-enabled binary acoustic metasurfaces (AB-BAMs) for ultrasound beam manipulation. They then demonstrated the capability of AB-BAM in water. They reported their findings July 22 in Physical Review Applied.