J. Appl. Phys. 114, 234904 (2013); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4852416
A procedure for measuring material thickness by means of necessarily long acoustic wavelengths is examined. The approach utilizes a temporal phase lag caused by the impulse time of wave momentum transferred through a thin layer that is much denser than its surrounding medium. In air, it is predicted that solid or liquid layers below approximately 1/2000 of the acoustic wavelength will exhibit a phase shift with an arctangent functional dependence on thickness and layer density. The effect is verified for thin films on the scale of 10 μm using audible frequency sound (7 kHz). Soap films as thin as 100 nm are then measured using 40 kHz air ultrasound. The method's potential for imaging applications is demonstrated by combining the approach with near-field holography, resulting in reconstructions with sub-wavelength resolution in both the depth and lateral directions. Potential implications at very high and very low acoustic frequencies are discussed.
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Clinic Ultrasound Laboratory (クレメント超音波研究室)
Cleveland Clinic (クリーブランド・クリニック),
Lerner Research Institute
Case Western Reserve University