Congratulations to third year PGR David Tatnell, whose publication ‘Coupling and confinement of current in thermoacoustic phased arrays’ has just been published in Science Advances and featured on the University’s research news webpage.
David, lead author of this study into thermoacoustic arrays, says:
This work is the first experimental demonstration of thermoacoustic sources in acoustic phased arrays.
We find that thermoacoustic arrays are capable of reproducing all of the effects of traditional speaker arrays, such as beam forming and steering, but also have additional characteristics unique to this generation mechanism.
We show that we can exploit these characteristics to radically simplify array design, allowing for thermoacoustic phased arrays to be made smaller, and more economically, than traditional speakers. This includes creating a fully controlled array from nothing more than a thin metal film attached to some metal wires. Combined with the ability to make the speakers flexible and transparent, thermoacoustic arrays have many potential applications, such as haptic feedback systems in smartphones and other wearables.
This paper represents two and a half years of hard work, sponsored by QinetiQ and EPSRC.
Check out the University’s main research news webpage, which explores these findings and their significance in further detail.