A method for the controlled positioning of small particles in one or two dimensions by an ultrasound field excited by a surface wave is presented. Particles of a diameter between 10 and 100 μm placed on a surface can be concentrated at certain locations and moved over the surface. In other approaches it is possible to let the particle levitate freely in the fluid. However for the use of ultrasonic positioning in for example microassembling it is necessary to move particles over a surface as well as to let them levitate over the surface. Physical principle: A two- or three-dimensional ultrasound field is excited in a fluid filled gap between a rigid surface at the bottom and a vibrating surface of a solid at the top. The height of the gap varies between 0.1 and 2 mm. A one-dimensional sinusoidal vibration of the upper surface excites a two-dimensional ultrasound field in the fluid. Particles that are arbitrarily distributed on the lower surface will be concentrated in lines by the ultrasound field. First the calculation of the field of forces on particles in the fluid layer is presented. Then the dispersion relation of a vibrating plate which is in contact with a fluid on one side is derived. The technical setup will be introduced. Finally the experiments are shown and compared to the theoretical results. © 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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