Acoustic Bubble Propulsion and Rotation for MEMS Devices
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The goal of this thesis research is to investigate acoustic wave actuated devices’ abilities spatially in different media and with various designs. Self-trapped bubble oscillation generates cavitation at the open end of the micro channel under a continuous sound wave. The cavitation generates propulsion from the opening through to the end of the micro channel. Researchers generally have found bubbles undesirable because of their non-linear effect in many applications. Therefore, there has been much research conducted in the area of eliminating the bubbles in liquid media. However, the use of bubbles can be beneficial in some applications like bubble powered actuators, switchers, and so forth. This research ensures the availability and feasibility of the bubble powered actuator for future medical applications. In the current research, the actuator works with the principle of an oscillating bubble cavitation. The bubble cavitation and oscillation effect create a propulsion effect through the designed tubes. The captured bubbles generate force against to contact surface. The force against this force from the contact surface causes propelling. Different frequencies oscillate the bubbles in different lengths. Thus, the length of the bubble that is captured in the channel has an impact on the oscillation frequency by the sound wave, since the changes in lengths of the bubble also differ the oscillating frequency. In different oscillating frequencies can be used not only for a planar propulsion but also for bilateral and three dimensional propulsion. In addition, with various designs, a device has an ability to substantiate many kind of motion in liquid media which means that propulsion effect can also use for circular or vortex motion purposes. In this research, up to 400 RPM circular and 70 mm/s instantaneous propelling speed are achieved in several designs by self-trapped and blocked micro-bubbles’ oscillations under acoustic wave in water media. In this novel study, availability and feasibility of acoustically oscillated micro-bubble based propulsion is demonstrated in spatial and rotational movement for future MEMS applications.
Dincel, Onder (2015). Acoustic Bubble Propulsion and Rotation for MEMS Devices. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from