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).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Analytical Chemistry