Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Liquid Lens Creates Tiny Flexible Laser On A Chip

Date:
May 14, 2009
Source:
Penn State
Summary:
Like tiny Jedi knights, tunable fluidic micro lenses can focus and direct light at will to count cells, evaluate molecules or create on-chip optical tweezers, according to engineers. They may also provide imaging in medical devices, eliminating the necessity and discomfort of moving the tip of a probe.

Like tiny Jedi knights, tunable fluidic micro lenses can focus and direct light at will to count cells, evaluate molecules or create on-chip optical tweezers, according to a team of Penn State engineers. They may also provide imaging in medical devices, eliminating the necessity and discomfort of moving the tip of a probe.

Related Articles


Conventional, fixed focal length lenses can focus light at only one distance. The entire lens must move to focus on an object or to change the direction of the light. Attempts at conventional tunable lenses have not been successful for lenses on the chip. Fluidic lenses, however, can change their focal length or direction in less than a second while remaining in the same place and can be fabricated on the chip during manufacture.

"We use water and a calcium chloride solution because they are readily available and safe and their optical properties have been well characterized," said Tony Jun Huang, James Henderson assistant professor of engineering science and mechanics. "There are lots of possibilities about what fluids we can use. Most solutions change their refractive indices if the concentration changes."

He notes that they could use a variety of solutions with water. There are also a number of commercially available "refractive index fluids" which could potentially provide better optical properties and make these Liquid-Gradient Refractive Index (L-GRIN) lenses work even better.

Huang, working with engineering science and mechanics graduate students Sz-Chin Steven Lin, Michael I. Lapsley, Jinjie Shi and Bala Krishna Juluri and bioengineering graduate student Xiaole Mao, who is the first author on the paper, reported their work in a recent issue of Lab on a Chip.

To create their lens, the researchers have constant, tiny streams of calcium chloride surrounded by two adjustable streams of water. By increasing or decreasing the flow rate of the water, they can shorten or lengthen the focusing distance of the lens. The focal length changes because the amount of diffusion of calcium chloride into the water changes and alters the refractivity of the fluid. The researchers can swing the focal point side to side by changing the flow rate of the water on only one side, skewing the point of focus left or right.

"With these two combined, we will have the capability of directing the light to any given point within the device," said Huang.

One application, according to Huang, would be as optical tweezers positioned directly on a chip the size of a quarter. This would eliminate the complex systems now necessary for optical tweezers. Optical tweezers made up of focused laser beams can capture tiny particles like cells, stabilize them, move them and even rotate them at will.

"Our L-GRIN lens is probably the only microlens that can focus and steer the light simultaneously and yet is still small enough to fit on such a biochip," said Huang.

Huang notes that there are applications for this fluidic lens in other places as well. Currently, for an endoscope operator to focus light on a specific internal location, the probe itself must be manipulated into place, sometimes causing discomfort. With these fluidic lenses, aiming


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Penn State. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Penn State. "Liquid Lens Creates Tiny Flexible Laser On A Chip." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 May 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090511164605.htm>.
Penn State. (2009, May 14). Liquid Lens Creates Tiny Flexible Laser On A Chip. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090511164605.htm
Penn State. "Liquid Lens Creates Tiny Flexible Laser On A Chip." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090511164605.htm (accessed October 26, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Real-Life Transformer Robot Walks, Then Folds Into a Car

Real-Life Transformer Robot Walks, Then Folds Into a Car

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) Brave Robotics and Asratec teamed with original Transformers toy company Tomy to create a functional 5-foot-tall humanoid robot that can march and fold itself into a 3-foot-long sports car. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Police Testing New Gunfire Tracking Technology

Police Testing New Gunfire Tracking Technology

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) A California-based startup has designed new law enforcement technology that aims to automatically alert dispatch when an officer's gun is unholstered and fired. Two law enforcement agencies are currently testing the technology. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins