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Conference Paper

Wireless actuator based on ultrasonic bubble streaming


Fischer,  Peer
Optical Nanoscopy, Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Max Planck Society;

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Qiu, T., Palagi, S., Mark, A. G., Melde, K., & Fischer, P. (2016). Wireless actuator based on ultrasonic bubble streaming. In 2016 International Conference on Manipulation, Automation and Robotics at Small Scales (MARSS) (pp. 1-5). Piscataway, NJ, USA: IEEE.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000B-18FE-D
Miniaturized actuators are a key element for the manipulation and automation at small scales. Here, we propose a new miniaturized actuator, which consists of an array of micro gas bubbles immersed in a fluid. Under ultrasonic excitation, the oscillation of micro gas bubbles results in acoustic streaming and provides a propulsive force that drives the actuator. The actuator was fabricated by lithography and fluidic streaming was observed under ultrasound excitation. Theoretical modelling and numerical simulations were carried out to show that lowing the surface tension results in a larger amplitude of the bubble oscillation, and thus leads to a higher propulsive force. Experimental results also demonstrate that the propulsive force increases 3.5 times when the surface tension is lowered by adding a surfactant. An actuator with a 4×4 mm 2 surface area provides a driving force of about 0.46 mN, suggesting that it is possible to be used as a wireless actuator for small-scale robots and medical instruments.