Droplet Navigation by Photothermal Pumping in an Optofluidic System

Jiaqi Song, Jianhua Zhang, Sanjana Krishna Mani, Ayusman Sen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Droplets with guided motion have potential applications as microreactors and delivery vehicles. Directing long-range migration powered solely by light is particularly advantageous since light can be applied remotely, patterned with a photomask, and readily translated to irradiate specified locations. Herein, we describe a universal platform that allows fast directional navigation and collective merging of droplets controlled by either ultraviolet or visible light. The guided motion of water and oil droplets follows density-driven convective flows arising from photothermal conversion at a light-absorbing amphiphobic substrate. Because of the relatively high photothermal efficiency, a low-intensity light beam can be employed. Further, we demonstrate that the moving droplets can function as carriers and on-demand reaction chambers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11486-11491
Number of pages6
Issue number37
StatePublished - Sep 20 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


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