Manipulation and trapping of particles have taken a huge relevance in recent years thanks to many applications with revolutionary contributions to diverse fields. Several experiments have demonstrated that thermal effects can improve the current micromanipulation techniques such as DNA manipulation or assembly of colloidal crystals. In this work, we present the effect of laser-induced thermal effects, such as convection currents and thermophoresis, on the trap stiffness (spring constant) constant of an optical trap of 3-micrometer particles suspended in water. These effects are a consequence of light absorption in a thin layer of hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) deposited at the bottom of the chamber which generates a thermal gradient. Since these effects (and its correspondent forces) are symmetric around the beam focus, trapped particles, experience an increment in the trapping force. Around the beam focus, the drag force associated with convective currents is directed upwards and are compensated by optical scattering force. Depending on the laser power, the trap stiffness increases significantly, so a trapped particle can be dragged along the cell (by displacing the sample and leaving the beam fixed) at velocities around 90 μm/s without escaping the trap, whereas in the absence of the a-Si:H film, the escape velocity of the particle in the trap drops to velocities around 30 μm/s. This presents a simple, yet effective, option for optical manipulation at low powers (<5 mW) and its possible applications in the manipulation of a variety of biological micro samples.
We present both the 3D trapping and manipulation of microbubbles by temperature gradients, induced by low power CW laser in absorbing liquid (ethanol). Two optical fibers were used: a multimode one for bubble generation and a single-mode one for both trapping and manipulating. One distal end of the multimode fiber was coupled to a Qswitched pulsed laser (λ=532 nm and pulse width τp=5 ns). The light propagates in the fiber and gets absorbed at silver nanoparticles, previously photodeposed at the other distal end, heating up the surrounding liquid and generating the microbubbles. On the other hand, a CW laser (λ = 1550 nm) was coupled to one distal end of the single-mode fiber, the other distal end was immersed in ethanol, inducing thermocapillary force, also called Marangoni force, that is the cornerstone in the trapping and manipulating of bubbles. The bubble generated on the multimode fiber travels towards the single-mode fiber by a careful switching of the temperature gradients. In addition to the Marangoni force, the microbubble immersed in ethanol suffers both drag force and buoyancy force. So, the equilibrium among these forces drives the 3D trapping and manipulation of the microbubble. To our best knowledge, this is the first time that 3D trapping and manipulation using low CW power es presented.
We present the generation and 3D manipulation of microbubbles by thermal gradients, induced by low power nanosecond pulsed laser in non-absorbent liquids. Light absorption at photodeposited silver nanoparticles on the optical fiber tip heat up the surrounding liquid, which leads to optothermal effects. With each laser pulse a microbubble is detached from the optical fiber end, creating a microbubbles-stream. The microbubbles move away from the optical fiber end driven by non-spherical cavitation until they coalesce creating a main-bubble which is attracted towards the optical fiber end by Marangoni force. In addition, the main-bubbles are under the influence of buoyancy and gravity forces, which act upwards and downwards, respectively. The balance of these forces allows the 3D manipulation of the main-bubble. The main-bubble position can be controlled by careful control of the pulse energy. To our knowledge this is the first time that 3D manipulation of microbubbles using pulsed lasers is demonstrated.
Generation and 3D manipulation of microbubbles by means of temperature gradients induced by low power laser radiation is presented. Photodeposited silver nanoparticles on the distal end of two optical fibers act as thermal sources after light absorption. The temperature rises above liquid evaporation temperature generating a microbubble at the optical fibers end in non-absorbent liquids. Alternatively, switching the thermal gradients between the fibers, it is possible to generate forces in opposite directions, causing the migration of microbubbles from one fiber optic tip to another. Marangoni force induced by surface tension gradients in the bubble wall is the driving force behind the manipulation of microbubbles