Spin-orbit interactions of transverse sound

Shubo Wang*, Guanqing Zhang, Xulong Wang, Qing Tong, Jensen Li, Guancong Ma*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Spin-orbit interactions (SOIs) endow light with intriguing properties and applications such as photonic spin-Hall effects and spin-dependent vortex generations. However, it is counterintuitive that SOIs can exist for sound, which is a longitudinal wave that carries no intrinsic spin. Here, we theoretically and experimentally demonstrate that airborne sound can possess artificial transversality in an acoustic micropolar metamaterial and thus carry both spin and orbital angular momentum. This enables the realization of acoustic SOIs with rich phenomena beyond those in conventional acoustic systems. We demonstrate that acoustic activity of the metamaterial can induce coupling between the spin and linear crystal momentum k, which leads to negative refraction of the transverse sound. In addition, we show that the scattering of the transverse sound by a dipole particle can generate spin-dependent acoustic vortices via the geometric phase effect. The acoustic SOIs can provide new perspectives and functionalities for sound manipulations beyond the conventional scalar degree of freedom and may open an avenue to the development of spin-orbit acoustics.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6125
Number of pages9
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 21 Oct 2021


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