Nonlinear vibrational-state excitation and piezoelectric energy conversion in harmonically driven granular chains

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This article explores the excitation of different vibrational states in a spatially extended dynamical system through theory and experiment. As a prototypical example, we consider a one-dimensional packing of spherical particles (a so-called granular chain) that is subject to harmonic boundary excitation. The combination of the multimodal nature of the system and the strong coupling between the particles due to the nonlinear Hertzian contact force leads to broad regions in frequency where different vibrational states are possible. In certain parametric regions, we demonstrate that the nonlinear Schrödinger equation predicts the corresponding modes fairly well. The electromechanical model we apply predicts accurately the conversion from the obtained mechanical energy to the electrical energy observed in experiments.

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