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Particle Separation inside a Sessile Droplet with Variable Contact Angle Using Surface Acoustic Waves

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journal contribution
posted on 16.11.2016, 00:00 by Ghulam Destgeer, Jin Ho Jung, Jinsoo Park, Husnain Ahmed, Hyung Jin Sung
A sessile droplet of water carrying polystyrene microparticles of different diameters was uniformly exposed to high frequency surface acoustic waves (SAWs) produced by an interdigitated transducer (IDT). We investigated the concentration behavior of the microparticles as the SAWs generated a strong acoustic streaming flow (ASF) inside the water droplet and exerted a direct acoustic radiation force (ARF) on the suspended particles, the magnitude of which depended upon the particle diameter. As a result of the ARF, the microparticles were concentrated according to their diameters at different positions inside the sessile droplet placed in the path of the SAW, right in front of the IDT. The microparticle concentration behavior changed as the sessile droplet contact angle with the substrate was varied by adding surfactant to the water or by gradually evaporating the water. The positions at which the smaller and larger microparticles were concentrated remained distinguishable, even at very different experimental conditions. The long-term exposure of the droplets to the SAWs was accompanied by the gradual evaporation of the carrier fluid, which dynamically changed the droplet contact angle as well as the concentration of particles. Complete evaporation of the fluid left behind several concentrated yet separated clusters of particles on the substrate surface. The effect of the droplet contact angle on particles’ concentration behavior and consequent separation of particles has been uniquely studied in this SAW-based report.