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Numerical simulation of piezoelectrically agitated surface acoustic waves on microfluidic biochips

Authors
Publisher
Springer Verlag
Publication Date
Disciplines
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Design
  • Mathematics
  • Medicine
  • Musicology
  • Physics

Abstract

Microfluidic biochips are biochemical laboratories on the microscale that are used for genotyping and sequencing in genomics, protein profiling in proteomics, and cytometry in cell analysis. There are basically two classes of such biochips: active devices, where the solute transport on a network of channels on the chip surface is realized by external forces, and passive chips, where this is done using a specific design of the geometry of the channel network. Among the active biochips, current interest focuses on devices whose operational principle is based on piezoelectrically driven surface acoustic waves (SAWs) generated by interdigital transducers placed on the chip surface. In this paper, we are concerned with the numerical simulation of such piezoelectrically agitated SAWs relying on a mathematical model that describes the coupling of the underlying piezoelectric and elastomechanical phenomena. Since the interdigital transducers usually operate at a fixed frequency, we focus on the time-harmonic case. Its variational formulation gives rise to a generalized saddle point problem for which a Fredholm alternative is shown to hold true. The discretization of the time-harmonic surface acoustic wave equations is taken care of by continuous, piecewise polynomial finite elements with respect to a nested hierarchy of simplicial triangulations of the computational domain. The resulting algebraic saddle point problems are solved by blockdiagonally preconditioned iterative solvers with preconditioners of BPX-type. Numerical results are given both for a test problem documenting the performance of the iterative solution process and for a realistic SAW device illustrating the properties of SAW propagation on piezoelectric materials.

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