The design of remotely programmable microfluidic systems with controlled fluid flow and particle transport is a significant challenge. Herein, we describe a system that harnesses the intrinsic thermal response of a fluid to spontaneously pump solutions and regulate the transport of immersed microparticles. Irradiating a silver-coated channel with ultraviolet (UV) light generates local convective vortexes, which, in addition to the externally imposed flow, can be used to guide particles along specific trajectories or to arrest their motion. The method provides the distinct advantage that the flow and the associated convective patterns can be dynamically altered by relocating the source of UV light. Moreover, the flow can be initiated and terminated "on-demand"by turning the light on or off.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Materials Science
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Surfaces and Interfaces