Computational and experimental analysis of droplet transportation/jetting behaviours driven by thin film surface acoustic waves

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


External departments

  • Heriot-Watt University


Original languageEnglish
Article number111624
JournalSensors and Actuators A: Physical
Early online date18 Sep 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019
Publication type

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


A Coupled Level Set Volume of Fluid (CLSVOF) approach has been applied to investigate severe deformation/transportation/jetting behaviours of sessile droplet driven by thin-film surface acoustic waves (SAW) devices. For validation of this computational method, a series of experimental studies of droplet transportation/jetting were performed using ZnO/Si thin film based SAW devices with resonant frequencies ranging from 64.49 MHz to 271.36 MHz. Good agreements between the computational and experimental results showed the capability of the developed CLSVOF method in modelling complex acoustofluidics phenomena such as significant internal streaming, pumping and jetting of the droplet driven by the propagating SAW.
Results obtained from the computational model are used to clarify the fluidic mechanisms of droplet oscillation and wobbling behaviours during transportation. Numerical results reveal the liquid streaming patterns and airflow velocity field around the droplet at different stages of transportation/jetting process. Effects of droplet volume, the resonant frequency of SAW devices and applied SAW power on droplet transportation/jetting were investigated both theoretically and experimentally. In particular, comparisons between experimental and computational results showed that the model predicted well the minimum RF power to start droplet pumping and jetting at various resonant frequencies.