Phononic Metamaterials & Acoustofluidics..



Miniaturization of complete laboratory protocols on chips (aka. lab-on-chip systems) is one of the most exciting and lasting triumphs of engineering and biochemical sciences during the last two decades. It has the potential to revolutionize disease diagnostics and biomedical research capabilities. To date, optical, electrostatic, electrokinetic, magnetic, and acoustic radiation forces have been extensively studied for manipulation, sorting, and isolation of bioparticles (e.g., cells, bacteria, exosomes) in microfluidic systems. Among these techniques, acoustic radiation force (ARF) presents some unique opportunities. Minimal absorption of acoustic radiation by biological materials, lack of magnetic labeling agents, and electrokinetic charging effects mean ARF provide a remote, non-harmful, and non-invasive way to handle biological targets. Yet, progress in using ARF for practical applications has been largely limited to size-based isolation of bioparticles, or acoustophoresis. Our inability to precisely control acoustic phonons and exploit coherent wave phenomena to full extent has been a major bottleneck, preventing us from unleashing the full potential of this technology.

Discontinuous Nanoporous Membranes Reduce Non‐Specific Fouling for Immunoaffinity Cell Capture"  Mittal S. et al., Small 9 (24), 4207-4214  (2013)

"Ultrasensitive optofluidic-nanoplasmonic BioNEMS for life sciences and point-of-care diagnostics" AA Yanik, SPIE Proc. Volume 8990, Silicon Photonics IX; 89900R (2014)

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Today, we are at the cusp of a new wave of transformation in acousto-fluidic technologies with the incorporation of phononic-bandgap (PhBG) materials and reprogrammable microfluidic systems. The merger of these exotic materials with microfluidics could open up unprecedent capabilities to control and tailor acoustic wave behavior for practical purposes and lead to new classes of acousto-microfluidic devices with novel functionalities. Our research group aims to spearhead this effort.


Almost all of the state-of-the-art acoustofluidic approaches are established on creation of standing sine wave patterns or superposition of such patterns. Hence, acoustic microfluidic designs are limited to a set of narrow device parameters related to generation of acoustics waves with varying phase differences. Phononic crystals (PnCs), on the other hand, offer virtually infinite ways of tailoring acoustic waves through phononic band structure (PBS) engineering by varying material and/or geometrical parameters. Incorporation of such PnCs, allowing an unprecedented level of control on surface acoustic waves (SAWs), could lead to on-chip acoustofluidics with novel functionalities. On silicon substrates, this approach could open door to monolithic, ultra-compact, versatile and programmable microfluidic devices, which can be readily integrated with other moieties based on well-established silicon technologies.


CAREER: Ionic-Type Phononic Metamaterials: Physics and Acousto-Fluidic Applications (2019-2024) A. A. Yanik, National Science Foundation, Electronics, Photonics and Magnetic Devices  (EPMD)


“EAGER: Monolithic Phononic Crystals and Programmable Surface Acoustic Wave Microfluidics” (2016-2017) National Science Foundation, Electronics, Photonics and Magnetic Devices  (EPMD)