Dynamics of a colloidal particle near a thermoosmotic wall under illumination†
The effects of light on colloidal particles in solution are multiple, including transfer of photonic linear/angular momentum and heating of the particles or their surroundings. The temperature increase around colloidal particles due to light heating can drive a thermoosmotic flow along a nearby boundary wall, which significantly influences the motion of the particles. Here we perform mesoscopic dynamics simulations to study two typical scenarios, where thermoosmosis is critical. In the first scenario, we consider a light-absorbing colloidal particle heated by uniform illumination. Depending on the fluid–wall interactions, the thermoosmotic flow generated by the wall can exert a long-ranged hydrodynamic attraction or repulsion on the “hot” Brownian particle, which leads to a strong accumulation/depletion of the particle to/from the boundary. In the second scenario, we investigate the motion of a colloidal particle confined by an optical tweezer in a light-absorbing solution. In this case, thermoosmosis can induce a unidirectional rotation of the trapped particle, whose direction is determined by thermoosmotic properties of the wall. We show that colloidal particles near a thermoosmotic wall exhibit rich dynamics. Our results can be applied for the manipulation of colloidal particles in microfluidics.