Monday, April 6, 2015

Optical separation of heterogeneous size distributions of microparticles on silicon nitride strip waveguides

Saara A. Khan, Yu Shi, Chia-Ming Chang, Catherine Jan, Shanhui Fan, Audrey K. Ellerbee, and Olav Solgaard

We demonstrate two complementary optical separation techniques of dielectric particles on the surface of silicon nitride waveguides. Glass particles ranging from 2 μm to 10 μm in diameter are separated at guided powers below 40 mW. The effects of optical, viscous, and frictional forces on the particles are modeled and experimentally shown to enable separation. Particle interactions are investigated and shown to decrease measured particle velocity without interfering with the overall particle separation distribution. The demonstrated separation techniques have the potential to be integrated with microfluidic structures for cell sorting.

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