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Real-time nanoparticle characterization through opto-fluidic force induction

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posted on 2023-02-08, 17:00 authored by Marko Šimić, Doris Auer, Christian Neuper, Nikola Šimić, Gerhard Prossliner, Ruth Prassl, Christian Hill, Ulrich Hohenester
We propose and demonstrate a novel scheme for optical nanoparticle characterization, optofluidic force induction (OF2i), which achieves real-time optical counting with single-particle sensitivity, high throughput, and for particle sizes ranging from tens of nanometers to several $\mu$m. The particles to be analyzed flow through a microfluidic channel alongside a weakly focused laser vortex beam, which accomplishes 2D trapping of the particles in the transverse directions and size-dependent velocity changes due to the optical forces in the longitudinal direction. Upon monitoring the trajectories and velocity changes of each individually tracked particle, we obtain detailed information about the number based particle size distribution. A parameter-free model based on Maxwell's equations and Mie theory is shown to provide very good agreement with the experimental results for standardized particles of spherical shape. Our results prove that OF2i can provide a flexible work bench for numerous pharmaceutical and technological applications, as well as for medical diagnostics.



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