Contactless Acoustic Manipulation and Sorting of Particles by Dynamic Acoustic Fields

Marco A. B. Andrade, G. D. Skotis, S. Ritchie, D. R. S. Cumming, Mathis O. Riehle, Anne Bernassau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
359 Downloads (Pure)


This paper presents a contactless, acoustic technique to manipulate and sort particles of varying size in both liquid and air media. An acoustic standing wave is generated by the superposition of counter-propagating waves emitted by two opposing emitters. The acoustic radiation force traps the smallest particles at the pressure nodes of the acoustic standing wave. The position of the particles can be manipulated by dynamically changing the phase difference between the two emitters. By applying a dynamic acoustic field (DAF), it is demonstrated that particles can be manipulated spatially and sorted according to size. The discrimination (sorting dynamic range) capability is initially demonstrated in liquid media by separating three different sets of polystyrene particles, ranging in size from 5 to 45 μm in diameter. The separation between particles was performed up to a ratio of 5/6 in diameter (20 % diameter difference). Finally, the scalability of the DAF method is demonstrated by sorting expanded polystyrene particles of 2 and 5 mm diameter in air.
Original languageEnglish
JournalIEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control
Early online date12 Sept 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Sept 2016


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