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Micromachined ultrasonic droplet generator based on a liquid horn structure

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5 Author(s)
Meacham, J.M. ; G. W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia 30332-0405 ; Ejimofor, C. ; Kumar, S. ; Degertekin, F.L.
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A micromachined ultrasonic droplet generator is developed and demonstrated for drop-on-demand fluid atomization. The droplet generator comprises a bulk ceramic piezoelectric transducer for ultrasound generation, a reservoir for the ejection fluid, and a silicon micromachined liquid horn structure as the nozzle. The nozzles are formed using a simple batch microfabrication process that involves wet etching of (100) silicon in potassium hydroxide solution. Device operation is demonstrated by droplet ejection of water through 30 μm orifices at 1.49 and 2.30 MHz. The finite-element simulations of the acoustic fields in the cavity and electrical impedance of the device are in agreement with the measurements and indicate that the device utilizes cavity resonances in the 1–5 MHz range in conjunction with acoustic wave focusing by the pyramidally shaped nozzles to achieve low power operation. © 2004 American Institute of Physics.

Published in:

Review of Scientific Instruments  (Volume:75 ,  Issue: 5 )