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Rapid crystallization from acoustically levitated droplets

Hui-Ling Cao, Da-Chuan Yin, Yun-Zhu Guo, Xiao-Liang Ma, Jin He, Wei-Hong Guo, Xu-Zhuo Xie, Bo-Ru Zhou

J. Acoust. Soc. Amer., vol: 131, num: 4, 3164, published: 01 April 2012,

Abstract: This paper reports on an ultrasonic levitation system developed for crystallization from solution in a containerless condition. The system has been proven to be able to levitate droplets stably and grow crystals rapidly and freely from a levitated droplet. Crystals of four samples, including NaCl, NH4Cl, lysozyme, and proteinase K, were obtained successfully utilizing the system. The studies showed that the crystals obtained from the acoustically levitated droplets all exhibited higher growth rates, larger sizes, better shapes, fewer crystals, as well as fewer twins and shards, compared with the control on a vessel wall. The results indicated that containerless ultrasonic levitation could play a key role in improving the crystallization of both inorganic salts and proteins. The ultrasonic levitation system could be used as a ground-based microgravity simulation platform, which could swiftly perform crystallization and screening of crystallization conditions for space crystallization and other ground-based containerless techniques. Moreover, the approach could also be conveniently applied to researching the dynamics and mechanism of crystallization. In addition, the device could be used for the preparation of high-purity materials, analysis of minute or poisonous samples, study of living cells, environmental monitoring, and so on.

         Electroacoustical transducers.
            Motors, actuators, levitators.

      Acoustical measurements.
         Acoustical control in technology.