Gallium nitride (GaN) is a compound semiconductor which shows advantages in new functionalities and applications due to its piezoelectric, optoelectronic, and piezo-resistive properties. This study develops a thin film GaN-based acoustic tweezer (GaNAT) using surface acoustic waves (SAWs) and demonstrates its acoustofluidic ability to pattern and manipulate microparticles. Although the piezoelectric performance of the GaNAT is compromised compared with conventional lithium niobate-based SAW devices, the inherited properties of GaN allow higher input powers and superior thermal stability. This study shows for the first time that thin film GaN is suitable for the fabrication of the acoustofluidic devices to manipulate microparticles with excellent performance. Numerical modelling of the acoustic pressure fields and the trajectories of mixtures of microparticles driven by the GaNAT was performed and the results were verified from the experimental studies using samples of polystyrene microspheres. The work has proved the robustness of thin film GaN as a candidate material to develop high-power acoustic tweezers, with the potential of monolithical integration with electronics to offer diverse microsystem applications.
|Early online date||4 Jun 2020|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Dec 2020|