Flexible/Bendable Acoustofluidics Based on Thin Film Surface Acoustic Waves on Thin Aluminum Sheets

Yong Wang, Qian Zhang, Ran Tao, Jin Xie*, Pep Canyelles-Pericas, Hamdi Torun, Julien Reboud, Glen McHale, Linzi E. Dodd, Xin Yang, Jingting Luo, Qiang Wu, Richard Fu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

In this paper, we explore the acoustofluidic performance of zinc oxide (ZnO) thin-film surface acoustic wave (SAW) devices fabricated on flexible and bendable thin aluminum (Al) foils/sheets with thicknesses from 50 to 1500 μm. Directional transport of fluids along these flexible/bendable surfaces offers potential applications for the next generation of microfluidic systems, wearable biosensors and soft robotic control. Theoretical calculations indicate that bending under strain levels up to 3000 μϵ causes a small frequency shift and amplitude change (<0.3%) without degrading the acoustofluidic performance. Through systematic investigation of the effects of the Al sheet thickness on the microfluidic actuation performance for the bent devices, we identify the optimum thickness range to both maintain efficient microfluidic actuation and enable significant deformation of the substrate, providing a guide to design such devices. Finally, we demonstrate efficient liquid transportation across a wide range of substrate geometries including inclined, curved, vertical, inverted, and lateral positioned surfaces using a 200 μm thick Al sheet SAW device.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16978-16986
Number of pages9
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Volume13
Issue number14
Early online date4 Apr 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Apr 2021

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