Leveraging developments in microfabrication opens new possibilities for optical manipulation. With the structural design freedom from three-dimensional printing capabilities of two-photon polymerization, we are starting to see the emergence of cleverly shaped “light robots” or optically actuated micro-tools that closely resemble their macroscopic counterparts in function and sometimes even in form. In this work, we have fabricated a new type of light robot that is capable of loading and unloading cargo using photothermally induced convection currents within the body of the tool. We have demonstrated this using silica and polystyrene beads as cargo. The flow speeds of the cargo during loading and unloading are significantly larger than when using optical forces alone. This new type of light robot presents a mode of material transport that may have a significant impact on targeted drug delivery and nanofluidics injection.
Bibliographical noteLight: Science & Applications (LSA) publishes high quality optics and photonics research from around the world. The Journal covers fundamental research as well as the important issues in engineering and applied sciences that are related to optics and photonics. Light: Science & Applications is a part of Nature Publishing Group .
- Optical manipulation
- Two-photon fabrication
- Thermal convection
- Material transport