Research from Matlack lab selected as spotlight feature


Ganesh Patil
Ganesh Patil

Recent work from Professor Katie Matlack and graduate student Ganesh Patil is currently featured as a “PRE Spotlight” on the homepage of Physical Review E.

The paper, “Strongly nonlinear wave dynamics of continuum phononic materials with periodic rough contacts,” was selected by the journal’s editors under the theme of Solitary Wave Dynamics in Strongly Nonlinear Phononic Materials.

The spotlight features a small selection of papers dealing with the same subject area and are intended to highlight emerging or established subject matter covered by the journal. Each Spotlight is featured on the website for about six weeks.

Katie Matlack
Professor Katie Matlack

The research from Matlack and Patil focuses on understanding the complex interactions of strongly nonlinear mechanical waves with phononic materials having microstructural features such as rough contacts. Phononic materials are engineered materials that control how mechanical waves propagate and have the potential for novel engineering applications due to their unprecedented mechanical responses. Different from prior established studies, this study investigated solitary waves when nonlinearities are discretely architected between continua and revealed the propagation of a different type of solitary waves (named Stegotons) along with acoustic resonances. These wave signatures are a promising route to enable both energy absorption and propagation of non-decaying, non-dispersive acoustic signals within the same materials.


Continuum phononic material with periodic rough contacts

Matlack leads the Wave Propagation and Metamaterials Laboratory, where her research group works to understand how waves propagate in complex materials over several length scales, which they then use to study how waves propagate in materials, to design efficient and multi-functional materials, structures, and devices. Their work is facilitated by 3D printing techniques, and applications include developing advanced imaging techniques (e.g. ultrasonic interrogation of materials and structures to determine material properties) and in engineering materials/structures that can manipulate mechanical energy (e.g. sensor design, structural vibration mitigation, damage-tolerant structures).