Acoustic diode: Wave non-reciprocity in nonlinearly coupled waveguides

Itay Grinberg, Alexander F. Vakakis, Oleg V. Gendelman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The paper describes a passive time-independent setting for non-reciprocal wave transmission in mechanical and acoustic systems with strong nonlinearities. In the proposed system vibro-impact elements with pre-defined clearances are used to couple two non-dispersive waveguides. The asymmetry necessary for the non-reciprocal behavior is realized through unequal grounding springs of the vibro-impact elements. We show that, for appropriate selection of the parameters, the proposed system acts as a mechanical diode, allowing the transmission of acoustic waves in one direction and completely preventing reverse transmission. Two different designs of the coupling elements are suggested, with the possibility of single-sided or double-sided impacts. A unique feature of the proposed non-reciprocal acoustic system is that minimal distortion of the harmonic content of the transmitted wave occurs, in contrast to current designs where nonlinear non-reciprocity is achieved at the expense of a rather strong distortion of the transmitted signals. For both designs, we derive exact solutions for propagation and reflection of the harmonic waves, and demonstrate the possibility for strong non-reciprocity. Stability properties of the observed solutions in the space of parameters are also explored.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-66
Number of pages18
JournalWave Motion
StatePublished - Dec 2018


  • Acoustic diode
  • Non-reciprocity
  • Phonon diode
  • Vibro-impact

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics


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