Shape-Directed Microspinners Powered by Ultrasound

Syeda Sabrina, Mykola Tasinkevych, Suzanne Ahmed, Allan M. Brooks, Monica Olvera De La Cruz, Thomas E. Mallouk, Kyle J.M. Bishop

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


The propulsion of micro- and nanoparticles using ultrasound is an attractive strategy for the remote manipulation of colloidal matter using biocompatible energy inputs. However, the physical mechanisms underlying acoustic propulsion are poorly understood, and our ability to transduce acoustic energy into different types of particle motions remains limited. Here, we show that the three-dimensional shape of a colloidal particle can be rationally engineered to direct desired particle motions powered by ultrasound. We investigate the dynamics of gold microplates with twisted star shape (Cnh symmetry) moving within the nodal plane of a uniform acoustic field at megahertz frequencies. By systematically perturbing the parametric shape of these "spinners", we quantify the relationship between the particle shape and its rotational motion. The experimental observations are reproduced and explained by hydrodynamic simulations that describe the steady streaming flows and particle motions induced by ultrasonic actuation. Our results suggest how particle shape can be used to design colloids capable of increasingly complex motions powered by ultrasound.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2939-2947
Number of pages9
JournalACS nano
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 27 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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