Acoustic tweezers use ultrasound for contact-free, bio-compatible, and precise manipulation of particles from millimeter to submicrometer scale. In microfluidics, acoustic tweezers typically use an array of sources to create standing wave patterns that can trap and move objects in ways constrained by the limited complexity of the acoustic wave field. Here, we demonstrate spatially complex particle trapping and manipulation inside a boundary-free chamber using a single pair of sources and an engineered structure outside the chamber that we call a shadow waveguide. The shadow waveguide creates a tightly confined, spatially complex acoustic field inside the chamber without requiring any interior structure that would interfere with net flow or transport. Altering the input signals to the two sources creates trapped particle motion along an arbitrary path defined by the shadow waveguide. Particle trapping, particle manipulation and transport, and Thouless pumping are experimentally demonstrated.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes