Watching Ripples on Crystals

Phys. Rev. Lett. 88, 185504 – Published 18 April 2002
Y. Sugawara, O. B. Wright, O. Matsuda, M. Takigahira, Y. Tanaka, S. Tamura, and V. E. Gusev


We present a new method for imaging surface phonon focusing and dispersion at frequencies up to 1 GHz that makes use of ultrafast optical excitation and detection. Animations of coherent surface phonon wave packets emanating from a point source on isotropic and anisotropic solids are obtained with micron lateral resolution. We resolve rounded-square shaped wave fronts on the (100) plane of LiF and discover isolated pockets of pseudosurface wave propagation with exceptionally high group velocity in the (001) plane of TeO2. Surface phonon refraction and concentration in a minute gold pyramid is also revealed.


  • Received 26 December 2001
  • Published 18 April 2002

© 2002 The American Physical Society

Authors & Affiliations

Y. Sugawara1, O. B. Wright1,*, O. Matsuda1, M. Takigahira1, Y. Tanaka1, S. Tamura1, and V. E. Gusev2

  • 1Department of Applied Physics, Faculty of Engineering, Hokkaido University, Sapporo 060-8628, Japan
  • 2Université du Maine, Avenue O. Messiaen, 72085 Le Mans, Cedex 09, France

  • *Corresponding author. Email address:

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