An integrated and reconfigurable optofluidic signal generator based on multiphase droplet grating is demonstrated in this paper. The chip is fabricated with an inexpensive, optically clear and non-toxic silicone elastomer-polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) by conventional soft lithography. Droplet grating is formed by a stream of plugs which are generated through a typical microfluidic T-junction. Since the refractive indices of the two immiscible liquids are different, the alternative mobility of the plug results in the periodical change of the reflectivity at the fluid/PDMS interface. The real-time tunability in the frequency and amplitude of the signal can be realized by varying the flow rates of the liquids. In experiments, both rectangle and triangle signals are displayed and the signal frequency ranges from 1 to 525 Hz. This signal generator can be easily integrated into other microfluidic networks to create versatile functionalities. Furthermore, we present coding functions based on the signal generator on a chip. Such a signal generator has great potential as a signal source or a part of functionalities for lab-on-a-chip applications.
Shen, Zhenhua, Yun Zou, Xianfeng Chen