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Issue 7, 2011
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Laser-induced thermal bubbles for microfluidic applications

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Abstract

We present a unique bubble generation technique in microfluidic chips using continuous-wave laser-induced heat and demonstrate its application by creating micro-valves and micro-pumps. In this work, efficient generation of thermal bubbles of controllable sizes has been achieved using different geometries of chromium pads immersed in various types of fluid. Effective blocking of microfluidic channels (cross-section 500 × 40 μm2) and direct pumping of fluid at a flow rate of 7.2–28.8 μl h−1 with selectable direction have also been demonstrated. A particular advantage of this technique is that it allows the generation of bubbles at almost any location in the microchannel and thus enables microfluidic control at any point of interest. It can be readily integrated into lab-on-a-chip systems to improve functionality.

Graphical abstract: Laser-induced thermal bubbles for microfluidic applications

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Publication details

The article was received on 19 Oct 2010, accepted on 18 Jan 2011 and first published on 17 Feb 2011


Article type: Technical Note
DOI: 10.1039/C0LC00520G
Citation: Lab Chip, 2011,11, 1389-1395
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    Laser-induced thermal bubbles for microfluidic applications

    K. Zhang, A. Jian, X. Zhang, Y. Wang, Z. Li and H. Tam, Lab Chip, 2011, 11, 1389
    DOI: 10.1039/C0LC00520G

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