surface acoustic wave; pumping; manipulation, microfluidic


Pumping and manipulation of liquids in microfluidic channels is important for many mechanical, chemical and biomedical applications. Surface acoustic wave based devices fabricated on high-efficiency piezoelectric substrates have been recently investigated for mixing and separation application within microfluidic channels. In this paper, we introduce a novel integrated surface acoustic wave based pump for liquid delivery and precise manipulation within a microchannel. The device employs a hydrophobic surface coating (Cytop) in the device design for decreasing the friction force and increasing the bonding. Contrary to previous surface acoustic wave based pump, this device does not need precise layers of water and glass in the design between substrate and channel, simplifying the design significantly, increasing its application space and mass production potential. In this study, we conducted extensive parametric studies to quantify the effects of volume of the liquid pumped, microchannel size, existence of hydrophobic surface coating as well as the input applied power on the pumping velocity and pump performance. Our results indicate that the pumping velocity for a constant liquid volume with the same applied input power can be increased by over 130% (2.31mm/min vs 0.99mm/min) by employing a hydrophobic surface coating (Cytop) in a thinner microchannel (250μm vs 500μm) design. This device can be used in circulation, dosing, metering and drug delivery applications in which small-scale precise liquid control and delivery is important.

Original Publication Citation

T. Wang, Q, Ni, N. B. Crane, and R. Guldiken, “Surface Acoustic Wave Based Pumping in a Microchannel,” Microsystem Technologies, doi:10.1007/s00542-016-2880-9, v 23 n5, p 1335-1342, May 2017.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



Microsystem Technologies




Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology


Mechanical Engineering

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor