An optical two-beam trap, composed from two counter propagating laser beams, is an interesting setup due to the ability of the system to trap, hold, and stretch soft biological objects like vesicles or single cells. Because of this functionality, the system was also named "the optical stretcher" by Jochen Guck, Josep Käs and co-workers some 15 years ago. In a favorable setup, the two opposing laser beams meet with equal intensities in the middle of a fluidic channel in which cells may flow past, be trapped, stretched, and allowed to move on, giving the promise of a high throughput device. Yet, single beam optical traps, aka optical tweezers, by far outnumber the existing optical stretchers in research labs throughout the world. The ability to easily construct an optical stretcher setup in a low-cost material would possibly imply more frequent use of the optical stretching technique. Here, we will outline the design, the production procedures, and results obtained in a fiber-based experimental setup built within an injection molded microfluidic polymer chip. The microfluidic chip is constructed with a three layer technology in which we ensure both horizontal and vertical focusing of the cells we wish to trap, thereby preventing too many cells to flow below the line of focus of the two counter propagating laser beams that are positioned perpendicular to the direction of flow of the cells. Results will be compared to that from other designs from previous work in the group.
In this paper, we present a route for making smart functionalized plastic parts by injection molding with sub-micrometer
surface structures. The method is based on combining planar processes well known and established within silicon micro
and sub-micro fabrication with proven high resolution and high fidelity with truly freeform injection molding inserts.
The link between the planar processes and the freeform shaped injection molding inserts is enabled by the use of
nanoimprint with flexible molds for the pattern definition combined with unidirectional sputter etching for transferring
the pattern. With this approach, we demonstrate the transfer of down to 140 nm wide holes on large areas with good
structure fidelity on an injection molding steel insert. The durability of the sub-micrometer structures on the inserts have
been investigated by running two production series of 102,000 and 73,000 injection molded parts, respectively, on two
different inserts and inspecting the inserts before and after the production series and the molded parts during the
Various nanostructures with a feature sizes down to 50 nm as well as photonic structures such as waveguides or grating
couplers were successfully replicated into the thermoplastic polymer polymethylpentene employing an injection molding
process. Polymethylpentene has highly attractive characteristics for photonic and life-science applications such as a high
thermal stability, an outstanding chemical resistivity and excellent optical transparency. In our injection molding process,
the structures were directly replicated from 2" silicon wafers that serve as an exchangeable mold insert in the injection
mold. We present this injection molding process as a versatile technology platform for the realization of optical
integrated devices and diffractive optical components. In particular, we show the application of the injection molding
process for the realization of waveguide and grating coupler structures, subwavelength gratings and focusing nanoholes.
We present a technology for miniaturized, chip-based liquid dye lasers, which may be integrated with microfluidic networks and planar waveguides without addition of further process steps. The microfluidic dye lasers consist of a microfluidic channel with an embedded optical resonator. The lasers are operated with Rhodamine 6G laser dye dissolved in a suitable solvent, such as ethanol or ethylene glycol, and optically pumped at 532 nm with a pulsed, frequency doubled Nd:YAG laser. Both vertically and laterally emitting devices are realized. A vertically emitting Fabry-Perot microcavity laser is integrated with a microfluidic mixer, to demonstrate realtime wavelength tunability. Two major challenges of this technology are addressed: lasing threshold and fluidic handling. Low threshold, in-plane emission and integration with polymer waveguides and microfluidic networks is demonstrated with distributed feed-back lasers. The challenge of fluidic handling is addressed by hybridization with mini-dispensers, and by applying capillary filling of the laser devices.
The integration of optical transducers is generally considered a key issue in the further development of lab-on-a-chip microsystems. We present a technology for the integration of miniaturized, polymer based lasers, with planar waveguides, microfluidic networks and substrates such as structured silicon. The flexibility of the polymer
patterning process, enables fabrication of laser light sources and other optical components such as waveguides, lenses and prisms, in the same lithographic process step on a polymer. The optically functionalised polymer layer can be overlaid on any reasonably flat substrate, such as electrically functionalised Silicon containing
photodiodes. This optical and microfluidic overlay, interfaces optically with the substrate through the polymer-substrate contact plane. Two types of integrable laser source devices are demonstrated: microfluidic- and solid polymer dye lasers. Both are based on laser resonators defined solely in the polymer layer. The polymer laser sources are optically pumped with an external laser, and emits light in the chip plane, suitable for coupling into chip waveguides. Integration of the light sources with polymer waveguides, micro-fluidic networks and photodiodes embedded in a Silicon substrate is shown in a device designed for measuring the time resolved absorption of two fluids mixed on-chip. The feasibility of three types of polymers is demonstrated: SU-8, PMMA and a cyclo-olefin co-polymer (COC) -- Topas. SU-8 is a negative tone photoresist, allowing patterning with conventional UV lithography. PMMA and Topas are thermoplasts, which are patterned by nanoimprint lithography (NIL).
The integration of optical transducers is generally considered a key issue in the further development of lab-on-a-chip Microsystems. We present a technology for miniaturized, polymer based lasers, suitable for integration with planar waveguides and microfluidic networks. The lasers rely on the commercial laser dye Rhodamine 6G as active medium, and the laser resonator is defined in a thin film of polymer on a low refractive index substrate. Two types of devices are demonstrated: solid and microfluidic polymer based dye lasers. In the microfluidic dye lasers, the laser dye is dissolved in a suitable solvent and flushed though a microfluidic channel, which has the laser resonator embedded. For solid state dye lasers, the laser dye is dissolved in the polymer forming the laser resonator. The miniaturized dye lasers are optically pumped by a frequency doubled, pulsed Nd:YAG laser (at 532 nm), and emit at wavelengths between 560 nm and 590 nm. The lasers emit in the plane of the chip, and the emitted light is coupled into planar polymer waveguides on the chip. The feasibility of three types of polymers is demonstrated: SU-8, PMMA and a cyclo-olefin co-polymer (COC) - Topas. SU-8 is a negative tone photoresist, allowing patterning with conventional UV lithography. PMMA and Topas are thermoplasts, which are patterned by nanoimprint lithography (NIL). The lasing wavelength of the microfluidic dye lasers can be coarse tuned over 30 nm by varying the concentration of laser dye, and fine tuned by varying the refractive index of the solvent. This is utilized to realize a tunable laser, by on-chip mixing of dye, and two solvents of different index of refraction. The lasers were also integrated with waveguides and microfluidic networks.