Photo (l-r): Yuqi Meng, Zihuan Liu, Xiaoyu Niu, Neal A. Hall, Ehsan Vatankhah
Texas ECE PhD student Xiaoyu Niu was awarded the Best Student Paper at the 183rd Meeting of Acoustical Society of America (ASA) for work on “MEMS Microphones as Ultrasonic Transducers." ASA is an international scientific society founded in 1929 dedicated to generating, disseminating, and promoting the knowledge of acoustics and its practical application.
MEMS microphones driven at nonlinear mode as the application of directional speaker. MEMS microphones are widely used in consumer electronics. Due to the nonlinearity of electrostatic force, people always use them in small signal linear mode to sense sound. UT Acoustic MEMS group firstly measures and models the nonlinearity of MEMS microphones driven at large signal mode as acoustic transmitters. One application of that technique was also built and tested by the group: laptop directional speakers. Combining nonlinearity of both MEMS devices and acoustic propagation in air, the directional audible sound was demonstrated for laptops. However, the first prototype cannot generate sound loud enough. They plan to build the second prototype to improve the sound pressure level (SPL).
Xiaoyu Niu received his B.S. degree in Underwater Acoustics from the Ocean University of China, Qingdao, China, in 2019. He studied at the Institute of Acoustics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, supervised by Dr. Xiaodong Li until 2020. He is currently a PhD student working in UT Acoustic MEMS Lab advised by Dr. Neal A. Hall. His passions include various acoustic MEMS devices, like Photonic waveguide microphone, parametric array directional speaker, Carbon Nanotube microphone, etc.