Airborne chemistry: acoustic levitation in chemical analysis

Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry
Sabina Santesson, Staffan Nilsson


This review with 60 references describes a unique path to miniaturisation, that is, the use of acoustic levitation in analytical and bioanalytical chemistry applications. Levitation of small volumes of sample by means of a levitation technique can be used as a way to avoid solid walls around the sample, thus circumventing the main problem of miniaturisation, the unfavourable surface-to-volume ratio. Different techniques for sample levitation have been developed and improved. Of the levitation techniques described, acoustic or ultrasonic levitation fulfils all requirements for analytical chemistry applications. This technique has previously been used to study properties of molten materials and the equilibrium shape()and stability of liquid drops. Temperature and mass transfer in levitated drops have also been described, as have crystallisation and microgravity applications. The airborne analytical system described here is equipped with different and exchangeable remote detection systems. The levitated drops are normally in the 100 nL-2 microL volume range and additions to the levitated drop can be made in the pL-volume range. The use of levitated drops in analytical and bioanalytical chemistry offers several benefits. Several re...Continue Reading


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