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Sensitivity of acoustofluidic particle manipulation to microchannel height in standing surface acoustic wave-based microfluidic devices

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jats:pIn this paper, the flow and particle trajectories, induced by standing surface acoustic waves (SSAWs) in a poly-dimethylsiloxane microchannel, are investigated by establishing a two-dimensional cross-sectional model with the finite element method and improved boundary conditions. Extensive parametric studies are conducted regarding the channel height, ranging from 0.2 to 4.0 times the spacing of the repetitive vertical interference pattern, to investigate its influences on the flow field and microparticle aggregation. The first-order flow field is found to be related to the channel height, exhibiting a periodic spatial distribution and oscillatory variation in its amplitude as the height changes. We theoretically analyze the propagation mechanism of the acoustic waves in the vertical direction and thus determine the periodicity of the wave interference pattern. Furthermore, we find that the speed of the particle aggregation is a function of the channel height, so the channel height can be optimized to maximize the strength of the first-order flow field and thus minimize the time of particle aggregation. The optimum heights can reduce the aggregation time by up to 76%. In addition, the acoustophoretic motions of microparticles exhibit a spatially dependent pattern when the channel height becomes larger than a quarter of the wavelength of the SAW, which can be explained by the change in the ratio between the radiation force and the streaming drag force from position to position. Our findings provide guidelines to the design and optimization of SSAW-based acoustofluidic devices.</jats:p>



4012 Fluid Mechanics and Thermal Engineering, 51 Physical Sciences, 40 Engineering, 5103 Classical Physics

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Physics of Fluids

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AIP Publishing
The work has been supported by the Energy IRC Small Grants scheme funded by the Isaac Newton Trust/ Energy Policy Research Group (EPRG) and the NERC Discipline Hopping for Environmental Solutions initiative.