Microfluidics and Nanofluidics

, 23:104 | Cite as

Acoustic streaming near a sharp structure and its mixing performance characterization

  • Chuanyu Zhang
  • Xiaofeng GuoEmail author
  • Philippe BrunetEmail author
  • Maxime Costalonga
  • Laurent Royon
Research Paper


Acoustic streaming can be generated in microchannels by low-frequency acoustic transducer in the vicinity of sharp structures. Close to the tip, the strong curvature induces bent trajectories on the time-periodic acoustic flow, locally enhancing the streaming-generating force. In this study, we investigate the influence of the sharp structure and vibration velocity on the streaming flow. The vibration velocities are characterized by directly visualizing the displacement of tracing particles and the generated acoustic streaming is observed using particle image velocimetry, under various operating conditions. By measuring the concentration of a fluorescence dye, we evaluate the mixing performance for different values of tip angle, vibration amplitude, and flow rate through the microchannel. Our results confirm that intense streaming is generated under low-frequency (2.5 kHz) acoustic condition when the local curvature of the boundary is close to or smaller than the viscous boundary-layer thickness. It is shown that the sharpest the edge tip, the largest the vortices size and the spatial extent of the induced streaming, therefore greatly enhancing the mixing between two miscible liquids. The mixing index, linearly characterizing the mixing degree between 1 (totally separated) and 0 (perfectly mixed), jumps from 0.73 (without acoustic excitation) to 0.38 (with acoustic excitation), resulting in a highly mixed homogeneous fluid just after the sharp edge. This emphasizes the promising potential of acoustic streaming to enhance mass transfer inside microchannels which is usually limited by the laminar flow conditions.


Acoustic streaming Sharp structure Mixing performance Fluorescence flow visualization 



The authors would like to acknowledge the scholarship support from the CSC (China Scholarship Council). Eric Falcon is acknowledged for his help in the measurement of the vibration velocity with the laser vibrometer. They would like to thank the MSC and LIED lab members for their daily support and discussion.

Supplementary material

Supplementary material 1 (MP4 8218 kb)

10404_2019_2271_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (399 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (PDF 399 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Univ Paris Diderot, Sorbonne Paris Cité, LIED, UMR 8236, CNRSParisFrance
  2. 2.Univ Paris Diderot, Sorbonne Paris Cité, MSC, UMR 7057, CNRSParisFrance
  3. 3.ESIEE Paris, Department SENUniversité Paris EstNoisy Le GrandFrance
  4. 4.Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA

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