An On-chip, multichannel droplet sorter using standing surface acoustic waves

Sixing Li, Xiaoyun Ding, Feng Guo, Yuchao Chen, Michael Ian Lapsley, Sz Chin Steven Lin, Lin Wang, J. Philip McCoy, Craig E. Cameron, Tony Jun Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

88 Scopus citations


The emerging field of droplet microfluidics requires effective on-chip handling and sorting of droplets. In this work, we demonstrate a microfluidic device that is capable of sorting picoliter water-in-oil droplets into multiple outputs using standing surface acoustic waves (SSAW). This device integrates a single-layer microfluidic channel with interdigital transducers (IDTs) to achieve on-chip droplet generation and sorting. Within the SSAW field, water-in-oil droplets experience an acoustic radiation force and are pushed toward the acoustic pressure node. As a result, by tuning the frequency of the SSAW excitation, the position of the pressure nodes can be changed and droplets can be sorted to different outlets at rates up to 222 droplets s-1. With its advantages in simplicity, controllability, versatility, noninvasiveness, and capability to be integrated with other on-chip components such as droplet manipulation and optical detection units, the technique presented here could be valuable for the development of droplet-based micro total analysis systems (μTAS).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5468-5474
Number of pages7
JournalAnalytical chemistry
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Jun 4 2013


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analytical Chemistry

Cite this

Li, S., Ding, X., Guo, F., Chen, Y., Lapsley, M. I., Lin, S. C. S., ... Huang, T. J. (2013). An On-chip, multichannel droplet sorter using standing surface acoustic waves. Analytical chemistry, 85(11), 5468-5474.