UCLA Gets Federal Grant to Develop New Class of Acoustic Devices

By George Bao   Aug. 12, 2016

LOS ANGELES U.S. Congressman Ted Lieu (D | Los Angeles County) announced Friday that the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) received a 2-million-dollar grant from the National Science Foundation to develop a new class of acoustic devices based on acoustic and electromagnetic waves to increase energy efficiency, and reduce noise and component size.

This groundbreaking research is the product of an initiative by the National Science Foundation Engineering Directorate under the Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation (EFRI) Program on New Light and Acoustic Wave Propagation: Breaking Reversal Symmetry (NewLAW), according to Ted Lieu’s office.

Grant funds will be used to develop new circuits and technology at Radio Frequencies to process signals in a smaller, more compact wireless systems than currently possible with existing technologies, according to UCLA.

The grant will also be used to educate K-12 students on the principles of systems level hybrid engineering concepts and involve undergraduate students in research efforts.

This proposal leverages the advancements made on electromagnetic devices developed by the semiconductor industry by exploiting new time-reversal symmetry breaking using an acoustic wave platform to develop innovative devices more compact and efficient compared to electromagnetic devices, according to UCLA.

These new acoustic devices are capable of routing waves in specified directions and/or amplifying them without generating additional noise while also being compatible with existing acoustic devices to form acoustic chips.

The proposed innovative research combines concepts from electrical engineering and mechanical engineering to develop new solutions for important problems facing our future industries.

This hybrid research program develops an entirely new paradigm for future wireless components by emphasizing system level figures of merit and system integration concepts necessary for the next generation electromagnetic devices, according to UCLA.

This approach requires cross-disciplinary interactions between traditionally dissimilar fields of electromagnetic waves and acoustic waves yielding a hybrid team capable of significant advancements.

By breaking time-reversal symmetry of acoustic wave propagation with parametric modulation, non-reciprocity is obtained on an acoustic wave platform. The proposed effort will yield a new class of acoustic devices based on this principle, such as acoustic amplifiers, mixers and circulators providing orders of magnitude improvement in efficiency while dramatically reducing sizes, according to UCLA.

 

 

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