Research ArticleENGINEERING

Folding a focalized acoustical vortex on a flat holographic transducer: Miniaturized selective acoustical tweezers

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Science Advances  12 Apr 2019:
Vol. 5, no. 4, eaav1967
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aav1967


Acoustical tweezers based on focalized acoustical vortices hold the promise of precise contactless manipulation of millimeter down to submicrometer particles, microorganisms, and cells with unprecedented combined selectivity and trapping force. Yet, the widespread dissemination of this technology has been hindered by severe limitations of current systems in terms of performance and/or miniaturization and integrability. Here, we unleash the potential of focalized acoustical vortices by developing the first flat, compact, paired single electrode focalized acoustical tweezers. These tweezers rely on spiraling transducers obtained by folding a spherical acoustical vortex on a flat piezoelectric substrate. We demonstrate the ability of these tweezers to grab and displace micrometric objects in a standard microfluidic environment with unique selectivity. The simplicity of this system and its scalability to higher frequencies open tremendous perspectives in microbiology, microrobotics, and microscopy.

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