Particle manipulation affected by streaming flows in vertically actuated open rectangular chambers

Prashant Agrawal, Prasanna S. Gandhi, Adrian Neild

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Particle movement in vibration assisted microfluidic systems is significantly affected by time-averaged streaming flows. These flows can demonstrate either particle collection or dispersion characteristics, depending on the parameters used and system specifics. Here we investigate particle collection within streaming flows in vertically actuated open rectangular chambers at frequencies in the range of 100 Hz. Capillary waves, created at the water-air interface under the action of low frequency vibration, generate streaming fields in the liquid bulk. In addition, the spatial variation in the flow field gives rise to particle collection due to inertial effects. In order to understand the interplay between these effects, 2D simulations are employed to understand the first order field induced particle collection, while an experimental study is performed to investigate the effect of the 3D streaming fields on particle motion. By altering the chamber dimensions, two observations are presented: first by taking measures to reduce the strength of the streaming field, particles as small as 50 nm in diameter can be collected. Second, the streaming fields themselves can be used to trap particles, which in conjunction with the collection forces can cause particle separation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number032001
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016

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