An Underwater Acoustic Lens

Invention Summary:

Sending and receiving information below the water surface is important but challenging. Techniques such as Sonar use acoustic waves in water to transmit information. Acoustic metamaterials enable Sonar devices to control, direct and manipulate sound waves for increased functionality and higher efficiency. Specifically, acoustic lens has been developed as a transmissive device designed to refract and focus sound waves. Traditional underwater acoustic lenses only operate at high frequencies greater than 300 KHz, which limits their use in secure underwater communications.

Rutgers scientists have developed a novel acoustic lens that is capable of focusing low frequency sound wave underwater. This lens is made of  gradient index structured metal materials having the same acoustic impedance as that of water. Sound waves traveling through this acoustic lens can be steered and focused smoothly and simultaneously, with minimized reflection. It can be integrated into underwater communication systems at both the sound generating and transmitting end and the sound receiving end.

Market Applications:

  • Underwater communication
  • Underwater acoustic vision system
  • Marine electronics
  • Offshore oil and gas exploration


  • Smooth/efficient focusing effect
  • Minimal reflection

Intellectual Property & Development Status:

Patent pending, available for licensing and/or research collaboration.

Rutgers ID: 2017-020
Physical Sciences
Lisa Lyu
Licensing Manager
Andrew Norris
Xiaoshi Su