A laser-driven optical atomizer : photothermal generation and transport of zeptoliter-droplets along a carbon nanotube deposited hollow optical fiber
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From mechanical syringes to electric field-assisted injection devices, precise control of liquid droplet generation has been sought after, and the present state-of-the-art technologies have provided droplets ranging from nanoliter to subpicoliter volume sizes. In this study, we present a new laser-driven method to generate liquid droplets with a zeptoliter volume, breaking the fundamental limits of previous studies. We guided an infrared laser beam through a hollow optical fiber (HOF) with a ring core whose end facet was coated with single-walled carbon nanotubes. The laser light was absorbed by this nanotube film and efficiently generated a highly localized microring heat source. This evaporated the liquid inside the HOF, which rapidly recondensed into zeptoliter droplets in the surrounding air at room temperature. We spectroscopically confirmed the chemical structures of the liquid precursor maintained in the droplets by atomizing dye-dissolved glycerol. Moreover, we explain the fundamental physical principles as well as functionalities of the optical atomizer and perform a detailed characterization of the droplets. Our approach has strong prospects for nanoscale delivery of biochemical substances in minuscule zeptoliter volumes.
Lee , H , Partanen , M , Lee , M , Jeong , S , Lee , H J , Kim , K , Ryu , W , Dholakia , K & Oh , K 2022 , ' A laser-driven optical atomizer : photothermal generation and transport of zeptoliter-droplets along a carbon nanotube deposited hollow optical fiber ' , Nanoscale , vol. 14 , no. 13 , 14 , pp. 5138-5146 . https://doi.org/10.1039/d1nr06211e
Copyright © 2022 The Author(s). Open Access. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence.
DescriptionThis work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant by the Korea government (MSIT) (No. 2019R1A2C2011293) and University of Sydney – Yonsei University Partnership Collaboration Awards. M. P. acknowledges European Union's Horizon 2020 Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) individual fellowship under Contract No. 846218. KD thanks the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council for funding (grant EP/P030017/1).
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