Swimming using surface acoustic waves

Bourquin, Y. and Cooper, J.M. (2013) Swimming using surface acoustic waves. PLoS ONE, 8(2), e42686. (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0042686)

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Abstract

Microactuation of free standing objects in fluids is currently dominated by the rotary propeller, giving rise to a range of potential applications in the military, aeronautic and biomedical fields. Previously, surface acoustic waves (SAWs) have been shown to be of increasing interest in the field of microfluidics, where the refraction of a SAW into a drop of fluid creates a convective flow, a phenomenon generally known as SAW streaming. We now show how SAWs, generated at microelectronic devices, can be used as an efficient method of propulsion actuated by localised fluid streaming. The direction of the force arising from such streaming is optimal when the devices are maintained at the Rayleigh angle. The technique provides propulsion without any moving parts, and, due to the inherent design of the SAW transducer, enables simple control of the direction of travel.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Cooper, Professor Jonathan
Authors: Bourquin, Y., and Cooper, J.M.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Biomedical Engineering
Journal Name:PLoS ONE
Publisher:Public Library of Science
ISSN:1932-6203
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2013 The Authors
First Published:First published in PLoS ONE 8(2):e42686
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
465001Listening to the Microworld.Jonathan CooperEngineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/F040857/1ENG - BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING