Moving Droplets in 3D Using Light

Journal: Advanced Materials

Published: 2018-07-08

DOI: 10.1002/adma.201801821

Affiliations: 3

Authors: 8

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Research Highlight

Fuelling the motion of droplets

© MirageC/Getty

© MirageC/Getty

A novel technique that uses light to control the movement of materials in three dimensions through a liquid has been developed, opening the door to new applications from diagnostics to drug delivery.

Droplets that either move autonomously or are driven by chemical, thermal or electrical stimuli are promising for new applications. However, controlling droplet movement in three dimensions has proved challenging.

Now, an international team, including researchers from the University of Wollongong in Australia, has shown that a droplet containing a photoactive material — a chemical ‘fuel’ — can be steered by visible and ultraviolet light.

By using light to induce changes in the interfacial surface tension between different fluids, they were able to transport the droplet towards or away from the light source, paving the way for new devices for diagnostics and drug delivery.

Supported content

  1. Advanced Materials 30, 1801821 (2018). doi: 10.1002/adma.201801821
Institutions FC
Intelligent Polymer Research Institute (IPRI), UOW, Australia 0.63
Insight Centre for Data Analytics, Ireland 0.25
Department of Chemistry, University of Otago, New Zealand 0.13

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