In this work we present an experimental and analytical study of the acoustophoretic motion of spherical polystyrene particles of different sizes. The primary aim is to understand the three-dimensional extension of the acoustic radiation force and the acoustic streaming-induced drag force and to examine the accuracy of analytical force predictions. Polystyrene spheres with diameter of 0.5µm and 5µm were displaced under controlled conditions in a long straight rectangular acoustofluidic microchannel, actuated in its 2-MHz resonance mode, a transverse half-wavelength standing acoustic wave. Astigmatism Particle Tracking Velocimetry (APTV) was used to measure the three-dimensional trajectories, velocities and accelerations of the particles. The experiments show how the acoustic radiation force dominates for the large 5-µm particles, whereas the drag force from the acoustic streaming dominates for the smaller 0.5-µm particles. The experimental 3D data is used to validate new theoretical predictions of the streaming velocity.
Proceedings of the 3rd European Conference on Microfluidics, 2012