Acoustic tweezers don’t need to touch an object to pick it up

Discussion in 'Industry News' started by Calliers, Jul 25, 2021.

  1. Calliers

    Calliers Administrator/Editor Staff Member

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    Researchers from Tokyo Metropolitan University have devised a new technology that allows the manipulation of small objects without having to touch them. The small objects are manipulated using sound waves. Researchers used a hemispherical array of ultrasound transducers to generate a 3D acoustic field that stably trapped and lifted a small polystyrene ball off a reflective surface.

    The team says their technique employs a method similar to laser trapping in biology but is adaptable to a wider range of particle sizes and materials. Moving objects without touching them is not uncommon in biology and chemistry, where technology known as optical trapping has been in use for years. However, the use of laser light has drawbacks, particularly in the limits the technique places on the property of objects that can be moved. Acoustic trapping is seen as an appealing alternative because it uses sound instead of optical waves.

    Sound waves can be applied to a wider range of objects and materials, allowing for successful manipulation of millimeter-sized particles. Acoustic levitation and manipulation shows promise in both the laboratory setting and beyond despite being relatively new compared to its optical counterpart. However, some significant technical challenges have to be overcome.

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  2. Tipstaff

    Tipstaff Well-Known Member

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    Woo hoo! A tractor beam!
     
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