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Silicon edges as one-dimensional waveguides for dispersion-free and supersonic leaky wedge waves
(2012)

Acoustic waves guided by the cleaved edge of a Si(111) crystal were studied using a laser-based angle-tunable transducer for selectively launching isolated wedge or surface modes. A supersonic leaky wedge wave and the fundamental wedge wave were observed experimentally and confirmed theoretically. Coupling of the supersonic wave to shear waves is discussed, and its leakage into the surface acoustic wave was observed directly. The velocity and penetration depth of the wedge waves were determined by contact-free optical probing. Thus, a detailed experimental and theoretical study of linear one-dimensional guided modes in silicon is presented.

Existing ultrasonic stress evaluation methods utilize the acoustoelastic effect for bulk waves propagating in volume, which is unsuitable for a surface treated material, possessing a significant variation in material properties with depth. With knowledge of nonlinear elastic parameters – third-order elastic constants (TOEC) close to the surface of the sample, the acoustoelastic effect might be used with surface acoustic waves. This work is focused on the development of an independent method of TOEC measurement using the effect of nonlinear surface acoustic waves scattering – i.e. the effect of elastic waves interaction in a nonlinear medium.
In this paper, the possible three wave interactions of surface guided waves and bulk waves are described and formulae for the efficiency of harmonic generation and mode mixing are derived. A comparison of the efficiency of surface waves scattering in an isotropic medium for different interaction types is carried out with the help of nonlinear perturbation theory. First results for surface and bulk wave mixing with known second- and third-order elastic constants are shown.

A theoretical description is given for the propagation of surface acoustic wave pulses in anisotropic elastic media subject to the influence of nonlinearity. On the basis of nonlinear elasticity theory, an evolution equation is presented for the surface slope or the longitudinal surface velocity associated with an acoustic pulse. It contains a non-local nonlinearity, characterized by a kernel that strongly varies from one propagation geometry to another due to the anisotropy of the substrate. It governs pulse shape evolution in homogeneous halfspaces and the shapes of solitary surface pulses that exist in coated substrates. The theory describing nonlinear Rayleigh-type surface acoustic waves is extended in a straightforward way to surface waves that are localized at a one-dimensional acoustic waveguide like elastic wedges.

In numerical calculations, guided acoustic waves, localized in two spatial dimensions, have been shown to exist and their properties have been investigated in three different geometries, (i) a half-space consisting of two elastic media with a planar interface inclined to the common surface, (ii) a wedge made of two elastic media with a planar interface, and (iii) the free edge of an elastic layer between two quarter-spaces or two wedge-shaped pieces of a material with elastic properties and density differing from those of the intermediate layer.
For the special case of Poisson media forming systems (i) and (ii), the existence ranges of these 1D guided waves in parameter space have been determined and found to strongly depend on the inclination angle between surface and interface in case (i) and the wedge angle in case (ii). In a system of type (ii) made of two materials with strong acoustic mismatch and in systems of type (iii), leaky waves have been found with a high degree of spatial localization of the associated displacements, although the two materials constituting these structures are isotropic.
Both the fully guided and the leaky waves analyzed in this work could find applications in non-destructive evaluation of composite structures and should be accounted for in geophysical prospecting, for example.
A critical comparison is presented of the two computational approaches employed, namely a semi-analytical finite element scheme and a method based on an expansion of the displacement field in a double series of special functions.

The existence of acoustic waves with displacements localized at the tip of an isotropic elastic wedge was rigorously proven by Kamotskii, Zavorokhin and Nazarov. This proof, which is based on a variational approach, is extended to rectangular anisotropic wedges. For two high-symmetry configurations of rectangular edges in elastic media with tetragonal symmetry, a criterion is derived that allows identifying the boundary between the regions of existence for wedge modes of even and odd symmetry in regions of parameter space, where even- and odd-symmetry modes do not exist simultaneously. Furthermore, rectangular edges with non-equivalent surfaces are analyzed, and it is shown that at rectangular edges of cubic elastic media with one (110) surface and one (001) surface, a tip-localized guided wave always exists, apart from special cases that are characterized.

Laser pulses focused near the tip of an elastic wedge generate acoustic waves guided at its apex. The shapes of the acoustic wedge wave pulses depend on the energy and the profile of the exciting laser pulse and on the anisotropy of the elastic medium the wedge is made of. Expressions for the acoustic pulse shapes have been derived in terms of the modal displacement fields of wedge waves for laser excitation in the thermo-elastic regime and for excitation via a pressure pulse exerted on the surface. The physical quantity considered is the local inclination of a surface of the wedge, which is measured optically by laser-probe-beam deflection. Experimental results on pulse shapes in the thermo-elastic regime are presented and confirmed by numerical calculations. They pertain to an isotropic sharp-angle wedge with two wedge-wave branches and to a non-reciprocity phenomenon at rectangular silicon edges.