Optofluidics is a new research field that emerged during the last decade as a result of the marriage between optics, optoelectronics, photonics and fluidics, particularly microfluidics or nanofluidics. One of the prominent advantages of optofluidics is the ability to tune their characteristics, thus building tunable optical devices. Tunability can be achieved by tuning the refractive index either thermally due to the high thermo-optic coefficient of liquids (0.0001−0.001 RIU/K) where RIU stands for refractive index units, electrically by using eletrooptic fluids such as liquid crystals, or by mixing, i.e. by changing the concentration of an analyte. Geometrical tuning can also be achieved due to the fact that liquids are adaptable and so adaptive microlenses may be built. Other applications of optofluidics include lab-on-chip application, flow cytometry, lensless microscopy, single particle detection and manipulation and more. A major thrust in optofluidics is to use integrated optics to replace the bulky microscopy analysis that is still commonly in use. This will enable a fully planar, fully integrated lab-on-a-chip on which signal, electronics, and fluids run in the plane of the chip. An optofluidic microscope which could revolutionize the diagnosis of certain diseases such as malaria has been developed. On the sensing side, integration of fluidics with plasmonics leads to highly sensitive miniature sensors.
|Name||Micro & Nano Technologies|