Novel phononic crystal structures on thin plates for material science applications in ultrasonic range (~ MHz) are described. Phononic crystals are created by a periodic arrangement of two or more materials displaying a strong contrast in their elastic properties and density. Because of the artificial periodic elastic structures of phononic crystals, there can exist frequency ranges in which waves cannot propagate, giving rise to phononic band gaps which are analogous to photonic band gaps for electromagnetic waves in the well-documented photonic crystals. In the past decades, the phononic structures and acoustic band gaps based on bulk materials have been researched in length. However few investigations have been performed on phononic structures on thin plates to form surface acoustic wave band gaps. In this presentation, we report a new approach: patterning two dimensional membranes to form phononic crystals, searching for specific acoustic transport properties and surface acoustic waves band gaps through a series of deliberate designs and experimental characterizations. The proposed phononic crystals are numerically simulated through a three-dimensional plane wave expansion (PWE) method and experimentally characterized by a laser ultrasonics instrument that has been developed in our laboratory.

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