All-optical control of microfluidic components using form birefringence

Steven L. Neale (Lead / Corresponding author), Michael P. Macdonald, Kishan Dholakia, Thomas F. Krauss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

150 Citations (Scopus)


The modeling, fabrication and rotation of microgears based on the principle of form birefringence, are discussed. Using a geometric anisotropy, a microgear can be fabricated of known birefringence, which may be readily rotated by manipulating the input polarization in a standard optical trap. This methodology offers a new and powerful mechanism for generating a wide range of microfabricated machines, such as micropumps, that may be driven by purely optical control. It was presented that one microgear can be used to rotate a second optically trapped microgear.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)530-533
Number of pages4
JournalNature Materials
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jun 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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