While Chladni patterns in air over vibrating plates at macroscale have been well studied, inverse Chladni patterns in water at microscale have recently been reported. The underlying physics for the focusing of microparticles on the vibrating interface, however, is still unclear. In this paper, we present a quantitative three-dimensional study on the acoustophoretic motion of microparticles on a clamped vibrating circular plate in contact with water with emphasis on the roles of acoustic radiation and streaming-induced drag forces. The numerical simulations show good comparisons with experimental observations and basic theory. While we provide clear demonstrations of three-dimensional particle size-dependent microparticle trajectories in vibrating plate systems, we show that acoustic radiation forces are crucial for the formation of inverse Chladni patterns in liquids on both out-of-plane and in-plane microparticle movements. For out-of-plane microparticle acoustophoresis, out-of-plane acoustic radiation forces are the main driving force in the near-field, which prevent out-of-plane acoustic streaming vortices from dragging particles away from the vibrating interface. For in-plane acoustophoresis on the vibrating interface, acoustic streaming is not the only mechanism that carries microparticles to the vibrating antinodes forming inverse Chladni patterns: In-plane acoustic radiation forces could have a greater contribution. To facilitate the design of lab-on-a-chip devices for a wide range of applications, the effects of many key parameters, including the plate radius R and thickness h and the fluid viscosity μ, on the microparticle acoustophoresis are discussed, which show that the threshold in-plane and out-of-plane particle sizes balanced from the acoustic radiation and streaming-induced drag forces scale linearly with R and μ−−√μ, but inversely with h−−√h.
Lei, J. Microfluid Nanofluid (2017) 21: 50. doi:10.1007/s10404-017-1888-5
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