Acoustic nanofluidics

Fluid reservoirs are connected with an output well via 100, 50, and 20nm wide channels in lithium niobate. Upon filling the reservoirs and starting acoustic radiation in the substrate, the channels rapidly fill the output well at speeds many orders beyond physically predicted rates. This entire structure would fit in this full stop. 

October 2011

Simulated molecular dynamics at the nanoscale show tremendous potential for improved manipulation of particles and molucules in fluids. In his fellowship project, Professor James Friend is examining the phenomena of rapid fluid flow in nanochannels induced by surface acoustic waves. Very high frequency sound waves (10–1000 MHz) applied in microchannels enables pumping, mixing, particle separation and other phenomena useful for medical diagnostics and chemical detection devices.

At the nanoscale, molecular dynamics simulations are showing potential for over five orders of magnitude improvement on any current method known for manipulating fluids and nanoparticles and molecules within.

At MCN, the focused ion beam and electron beam lithography facilities, the UV lithography and deep reactive ion etch instruments are all crucially important in fabricating the acoustic wave devices and the nanostructures on them. These facilities are especially convenient as they are adjacent to laboratories at the MCN where the devices can be immediately tested on confocal and high-speed fluoroscopy equipment. The devices go from concept to fabrication to testing in a matter of a few days.

This work has the potential to benefit Victorians through potential means of efficient drinking water filtration, drug delivery and implantable medical device technology to treat cancer and autoimmune diseases, as well as acoustophoresis for protein and DNA assays to serve as a tool in microbiochemistry for identifying the causes of disease and illness.