We model and realize an ultrasonic contactless pick-and-place device capable of picking, self-centering, self-orienting, translating, and releasing flat millimetric objects. The device is an ultrasonic Langevin transducer operating at 21 kHz that radiates into air through a tapered tip. Objects are trapped few micrometers below the tip due to the near-field acoustic levitation phenomenon. We first investigate the conditions to achieve an attractive force on the object depending on its size and the device operating frequency. Second, we use a 3D acoustic model that describes the converging forces and torque that provide the self-centering and self-orienting capabilities. Third, a more advanced Computational Fluid Dynamics model based on the Navier–Stokes equations explains the small gap between the tip and the trapped object. The contactless manipulation capabilities of the device are demonstrated by picking, transporting, and releasing a Surface Mount Device in air. The presented manipulation concept can be an interesting alternative for manipulating delicate objects such as microelectromechanical devices, silicon dies, or micro-optical devices.
Contactless pick-and-place of millimetric objects using inverted near-field acoustic levitation
Marco A. B. Andrade, Tiago S. Ramos, Julio C. Adamowski, Asier Marzo; Contactless pick-and-place of millimetric objects using inverted near-field acoustic levitation. Appl. Phys. Lett. 3 February 2020; 116 (5): 054104. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5138598
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