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 Dodd, Xin Yang, Jinting Luo, Qiang Wu, Yongqing Fu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

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 μm 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 small frequency shift and amplitude change (< 0.3%) without degrading acoustofluidic performance. Through systematic investigation of the effects of Al sheet thickness on microfluidic actuation performance for the bent devices, we identify 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 200 μm thick Al sheet SAW device.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16978–16986
Number of pages15
JournalACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Issue number14
Early online date4 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished - 14 Apr 2021

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Acoustofluidics
  • Flexible devices
  • ZnO thin films
  • Surface acoustic waves
  • Aluminum sheets


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