Dynamics of levitated objects in acoustic vortex fields

Zhenyu Hong*, J Yin, W Zhai, W Wang, Jie Zhang, Bruce Drinkwater

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)
487 Downloads (Pure)


Acoustic levitation in gaseous media provides a tool to process solid and liquid materials without the presence of surfaces such as container walls and hence has been used widely in chemical analysis, high-temperature processing, drop dynamics and bioreactors. To date high-density objects can only be acoustically levitated in simple standing-wave fields. Here we demonstrate the ability of a small number of peripherally placed sources to generate acoustic vortex fields and stably levitate a wide range of liquid and solid objects. The forces exerted by these acoustic vortex fields on a levitated water droplet are observed to cause a controllable deformation of the droplet and/or oscillation along the vortex axis. Orbital angular momentum transfer is also shown to rotate a levitated object rapidly and the rate of rotation can be controlled by the source amplitude. We expect this research can increase the diversity of acoustic levitation and expand the application of acoustic vortices.
Original languageEnglish
Article number7093
Number of pages7
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Early online date2 Aug 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2 Aug 2017


  • Acoustics
  • Mechanical engineering


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