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Topological composite phononic crystals for advanced engineering applications

This research project is in competition for funding with one or more projects available across the EPSRC Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP). Usually the projects which receive the best applicants will be awarded the funding. Find out more information about the DTP and how to apply.

Start date: 1 October 2019

The main aim of the project is to combine recently designed and studied topological structures, such as gyroscopic lattices, to propose innovative metamaterial concepts made of different topological phases.

This will lead to topological composite media where the phononic band structure is determined by both topological and non-topological effects due to the modulation of the phases.


Mechanical metamaterials are engineered media whose structure gives them novel mechanical properties, including negative Poisson’s ratio, non-conventional bandgap properties and negative refraction.

Recently, inspired by the concept of quantum topological insulators, a new paradigm for their design has emerged that consists in the implementation of ideas from topology. The mathematical branch describing properties that are unchanged by smooth deformations. Topological mechanical metamaterials are characterised by the presence of robust phononic edge mode states that owe their existence to a topological invariant, the so-called Chern number, characterising the bulk interior of the system.

Project aims and methods

The final goal is to provide a general guideline for an effective design of innovative topological composite metamaterials. In particular, the following milestones will be pursued:

Year one

  • Identification and analysis of the dispersive properties of different topological composite materials such as for example topological laminates.

Year two

  • Investigation of the topological invariants and study of their influence on topological band gaps in the designed composite media.

Year three

  • Analysis of edge modes in topological composite phononic crystals.
  • Identification of design guidelines for the use of topological composite metamaterials to design advanced phononic structures for industrial applications.


Yr Athro Massimiliano Gei


+44 (0)29 2087 4316
Lorenzo Morini

Lorenzo Morini

Marie Curie Cofund Fellow

+44 (0)29 2082 0212

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