Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

MS in Mechanical Engineering (M.S.M.E.)

Degree Granting Department

Mechanical Engineering

Major Professor

Rasim Guldiken, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Andres Tejada-Martinez, Ph.D.

Committee Member

David W. Murphy, Ph.D.


Acoustic Radiation Force, Microfluidics, Separation Efficiency, Standing Surface Acoustic Wave


Standing surface acoustic waves (SSAW) have been widely used for sorting of cells and particles. However, the major challenges faced with the acoustic driven separation process is the need for an optimized setup to achieve effective separation and the range of particles that can be separated. In this thesis, a custom simulation model is studied to investigate and optimize the separation of varying size particles in a sheathless acoustic separation platform that was developed in our research lab. Specifically, the effect of flowrate, pressure amplitude, wavelength and interdigitated transducers (IDTs) physical parameters on the separation efficiency is explored. We also explored the critical particle size for acoustic particle separation with 3 μm particles and demonstrated, successful 3 μm and 6 μm particles for the first time for this sheathless separation platform. The ANSYS® FLUENT was utilized to numerically simulate acoustic radiation force (ARF) on the particles for separation. With the increase in the pressure amplitude in the first and second stage to 80 kPa and 110 kPa respectively, the optimization studies presented have shown to improve the separation efficiency of the model over 96 % for both 10 & 3 μm particles. Findings of the current study will aid in increasing the efficiency of particle separation and in designing the SSAW driven microfluidic devices.