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Implementation of a modern resonant ultrasound spectroscopy system for the measurement of the elastic moduli of small solid specimens
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1.L. D. Landau and E. M. Lifshitz, Theory of Elasticity, 3rd ed. (Pergamon, London, 1986).
2.H. B. Huntington, The Elastic Constants of Crystals (Academic, London, 1958).
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7.See EPAPS Document No. for the source code described in: A. Migliori, J. L. Sarrao, W. M. Visscher, T. M. Bell, Ming Lei, Z. Fisk, and R. G. Leisure, Physica B0921-4526 183, 1 (1993). This document can be reached via a direct link in the online article’s HTML reference section or via the EPAPS homepage.[Supplementary Material]
8.A. Migliori and J. L. Sarrao, Resonant Ultrasound Spectroscopy(Wiley, New York, 1997), with chapters on materials science, geophysics, instrument design, and theory.
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15.Quasar International Inc., 5550 Midway Park Place NE, Albuquerque, NM 87109.
16.Stanford Research Systems, Inc.,1290-D Reamwood Avenue, Sunnyvale, CA 94089.
17.Labview program available from jbbetts@lanl.gov, Labview is available from National Instruments Corporation, 11500 N Mopac Expwy, Austin, TX 78759.
18.Temperature controller: Oxford ITC503 (Oxford Instruments America Inc., 130A Baker Avenue Ext, Concord, MA 01742) but others are easily substituted.
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20.Boston Piezo-Optics Inc., 38 B Maple Street Bellingham, MA 0201: 36 degree Y-cut lithium niobate, 0.059 in. diam, , fine lapped finish, chrome/gold both sides.
21.DuPont Engineering Polymers, Pencader Site, Newark, DE 19714.
22.Epo-Tek H20E-175 from Epoxy Technology, 14 Fortune Drive, Billerica, MA 01821.
23.W. L. Gore, 555 Paper Mill Road, Newark, DE 10714, part # CXN-3369 goretex insulated coax.
24.Oxford Optistat Flow cryostat from Oxford Instruments America Inc., 130A Baker Avenue Ext, Concord, MA 01742.
25.Kynar film from: Arkema, 4-8 cours Michelet, la Défense 10, F92091 Paris la Défense Cedex, France.
26.J. L. Sarrao, S. R. Chen, W. M. Visscher, U. F. Kocks, and A. Migliori, Rev. Sci. Instrum.0034-6748 65, 2139 (1994).
27.Crystalbond available from: Structure Probe, Inc, P.O. Box 656, West Chester, PA 19381.
View: Figures


Image of FIG. 1.

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FIG. 1.

Block diagram of a RUS system. Construction of transducers and amplifier are described in the text; all other components are commercially available.

Image of FIG. 2.

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FIG. 2.

(Color) A preamplifier for piezoelectric transducers that permits use of several meters of coaxial cable connections to the transducers with minimal signal degradation.

Image of FIG. 3.

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FIG. 3.

Transducer assembly using sputtered gold for electrical contact. Details for construction are in the text.

Image of FIG. 4.

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FIG. 4.

(Color) An illustration of the RUS cell for low temperature measurements. The sliding transducer weight is attached to its transducer and weighs about . The sample is enclosed by a loosely-fitting piece of soda straw, necessary only for work in magnetic fields with ferromagnetic samples.

Image of FIG. 5.

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FIG. 5.

Arrangement of masks for the bare PVDF film before metallization to provide thin strips with contacts on both sides. The thin overlap is the active region.

Image of FIG. 6.

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FIG. 6.

A PVDF-based cell for measurement of the resonances of very small, fragile samples.

Image of FIG. 7.

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FIG. 7.

Shown is a system using ground steel shims to make a RPR. The shims are held in place by magnets below the disk while the Crystalbond (Ref. 27) used to attach shims and sample (dark gray at center), cools. The RPR sample can easily be supported by its vertical faces by “squeezing” the shims together, rather than pressing down on the sample. With care, parallelism and perpendicularity to a part in can be achieved.

Image of FIG. 8.

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FIG. 8.

Resonance obtained using the system described here on a polycrystal cube of . The in-phase signal is dashed, the quadrature signal is solid. The phase is arbitrary, associated with phase shifts in the cables and transducers, and is weakly frequency dependent. The resonance shown is typical, and very far from the best and worst that can be obtained.


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The use of mechanical resonances to determine the elastic moduli of materials of interest to condensed-matter physics, engineering, materials science and more is a steadily evolving process. With the advent of massive computing capability in an ordinary personal computer, it is now possible to find all the elastic moduli of low-symmetry solids using sophisticated analysis of a set of the lowest resonances. This process, dubbed “resonant ultrasound spectroscopy” or RUS, provides the highest absolute accuracy of any routine elastic modulus measurement technique, and it does this quickly on small samples. RUS has been reviewed extensively elsewhere, but still lacking is a complete description of how to make such measurements with hardware and software easily available to the general science community. In this article, we describe how to implement realistically a useful RUS system.


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Scitation: Implementation of a modern resonant ultrasound spectroscopy system for the measurement of the elastic moduli of small solid specimens