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Issue 2, 2014
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Theory and experiment on particle trapping and manipulation via optothermally generated bubbles

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Abstract

We present a theoretical analysis and experimental demonstration of particle trapping and manipulation around optothermally generated bubbles. We show that a particle located within 500 μm of a surface bubble can be attracted towards a bubble by drag force resulting from a convective flow. Once the particle comes in contact with the bubble's surface, a balance between surface tension forces and pressure forces traps the particle on the bubble surface, allowing the particle to move with the bubble without detaching. The proposed mechanism is confirmed by computational fluid dynamics simulations, force calculations, and experiments. Based on this mechanism, we experimentally demonstrated a novel approach for manipulating microparticles via optothermally generated bubbles. Using this approach, randomly distributed microparticles were effectively collected and carried to predefined locations. Single particles were also manipulated along prescribed trajectories. This bubble-based particle trapping and manipulation technique can be useful in applications such as micro assembly, particle concentration, and high-precision particle separation.

Graphical abstract: Theory and experiment on particle trapping and manipulation via optothermally generated bubbles

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Publication details

The article was received on 22 Jun 2013, accepted on 09 Oct 2013 and first published on 26 Nov 2013


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C3LC50748C
Citation: Lab Chip, 2014,14, 384-391
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    Theory and experiment on particle trapping and manipulation via optothermally generated bubbles

    C. Zhao, Y. Xie, Z. Mao, Y. Zhao, J. Rufo, S. Yang, F. Guo, J. D. Mai and T. J. Huang, Lab Chip, 2014, 14, 384
    DOI: 10.1039/C3LC50748C

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