Photothermal generation of microbubbles on plasmonic nanostructures inside microfluidic channels

Jingting Li, Ming Li, Greggy M. Santos, Fusheng Zhao, Wei-Chuan Shih

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review


Microbubbles have been utilized as micro-pumps, micro-mixers, micro-valves, micro-robots and surface cleaners. Various generation techniques can be found in the literature, including resistive heating, hydrodynamic methods, illuminating patterned metal films and noble metal nanoparticles of Au or Ag. We present photothermal microbubble generation by irradiating nanoporous gold disk covered microfluidic channels. The size of the microbubble can be controlled by adjusting the laser power. The dynamics of both bubble growth and shrinkage are studied. The advantages of this technique are flexible bubble generation locations, long bubble lifetimes, no need for light-adsorbing dyes, high controllability over bubble size, low power consumption, etc. This technique has the potential to provide new flow control functions in microfluidic devices.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMicrofluidics, BioMEMS, and Medical Microsystems XIV
EditorsBonnie L. Gray, Holger Becker
Place of PublicationBellingham, WA
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)9781628419399
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes
Event2016 SPIE Photonics West: Microfluidics, BioMEMS, and Medical Microsystems - San Francisco, United States
Duration: 13 Feb 201615 Feb 2016

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422
ISSN (Electronic)2410-9045


Conference2016 SPIE Photonics West
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco


  • microfluidics
  • plasmonics
  • nanoporous gold
  • photothermal
  • Microfluidics


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