High-resolution and multi-range particle separation by microscopic vibration in an optofluidic chip†
An optofluidic chip is demonstrated in experiments for high-resolution and multi-range particle separation through the optically-induced microscopic vibration effect, where nanoparticles are trapped in loosely overdamped optical potential wells created with combined optical and fluidic constraints. It is the first demonstration of separating single nanoparticles with diameters ranging from 60 to 100 nm with a resolution of 10 nm. Nanoparticles vibrate with an amplitude of 3–7 μm in the loosely overdamped potential wells in the microchannel. The proposed optofluidic device is capable of high-resolution particle separation at both nanoscale and microscale without reconfiguring the device. The separation of bacteria from other larger cells is accomplished using the same chip and operation conditions. The unique trapping mechanism and the superb performance in high-resolution and multi-range particle separation of the proposed optofluidic chip promise great potential for a diverse range of biomedical applications.