Amplitude modulation schemes for enhancing acoustically-driven microcentrifugation and micromixing

Kar M. Ang, Leslie Y. Yeo, Yew M. Hung, Ming K. Tan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


The ability to drive microcentrifugation for efficient micromixing and particle concentration and separation on a microfluidic platform is critical for a wide range of lab-on-a-chip applications. In this work, we investigate the use of amplitude modulation to enhance the efficiency of the microcentrifugal recirculation flows in surface acoustic wave microfluidic systems, thus concomitantly reducing the power consumption in these devices for a given performance requirement-a crucial step in the development of miniaturized, integrated circuits for true portable functionality. In particular, we show that it is possible to obtain an increase of up to 60% in the acoustic streaming velocity in a microdroplet with kHz order modulation frequencies due to the intensification in Eckart streaming; the streaming velocity is increasing as the modulation index is increased. Additionally, we show that it is possible to exploit this streaming enhancement to effect improvements in the speed of particle concentration by up to 70% and the efficiency of micromixing by 50%, together with a modest decrease in the droplet temperature.

Original languageEnglish
Article number054106
Number of pages15
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2016

Cite this