This paper compares the simulation results with the experimental results of impedance analysis and longitudinal vibration measurement of micro-fabricated 0.5 MHz silicon-based ultrasonic nozzles. Impedance analysis serves as a good diagnostic tool for evaluation of longitudinal vibration of the nozzles. Each nozzle is made of a piezoelectric drive section and a silicon-resonator consisting of multiple Fourier horns each with half wavelength design and twice amplitude magnification. The experimental results verified the simulation prediction of one pure longitudinal vibration mode at the resonant frequency in excellent agreement with the design value. Furthermore, at the resonant frequency, the measured longitudinal vibration amplitude gain at the nozzle tip increases as the number of Fourier horns (n) increases in good agreement with the theoretical value of 2n. Using this design, very high vibration amplitude at the nozzle tip can be achieved with no reduction in the tip cross sectional area. Therefore, the required electric drive power should be drastically reduced, decreasing the likelihood of transducer failure in ultrasonic atomization.
This paper presents new findings regarding the effects of precursor drop size and concentration on product particle size and morphology in ultrasonic spray pyrolysis of zirconium hydroxyl acetate solutions. Large precursor drops (diameter >30μm) generated by ultrasonic atomization at 120kHz yielded particles with holes. Precursor drops 6-9 μm in diameter, generated by an ultrasonic nebulizer at 1.65MHz and 23.5W electric drive power, yielded uniform spherical particles 150nm in diameter under proper control of heating rate and precursor concentration. Moreover, air-assisted ultrasonic spray pyrolysis at 120kHz and 2.3W yielded spherical particles of which nearly half were smaller than those produced by the ultrasonic spray pyrolysis of the 6-9 μm precursor drops, desprite the much larger precursor drop sizes (28 μm peak diameter versus 7 μm mean diameter). These particles are much smaller than those predicted by the conventional one particle per drop mechanism, suggesting that a vapor condensation mechanism may also be involved in spray pyrolysis. It may be concluded that through this new mechanism air-assisted ultrasonic spray pyrolysis can become a viable process for mass production of nanoparticles.