Particle manipulation using laser-induced thermocapillary convective flow
Manipulation of components at the microscale (size below 1 mm) is challenging due to adhesion effects. Non-contact manipulation techniques handle components using remote force fields that overcome the mentioned problem.
We focus on the manipulation of components lying at the water-air interface which remain there due to the wetting phenomena. We use laser-induced thermocapillary convective flow to manipulate such components. This principle is based on the surface tension phenomenon which happens to be significant at the microscale.
Using the proposed method, we have performed manipulations in open-loop and more recently in closed-loop using an automatic controller.
Further research is to be done regarding the force acting in the component in order to develop an analytical model to predict the particle velocity. It is also expected to perform the manipulation of multiple components in parallel.
Our lab is interested in people with scientific background in microfluidics, surface tension phenomena and/or wetting. However, we are also interested in people with a more technical background: computer vision, automatic control and mechatronics. Also previous experience with real hardware would be greatly appreciated.
About Université libre de Bruxelles – BEAMS lab
BEAMS lab (Bio-, Electro- And Mechanical Systems) and more specifically the Micro-Bio-Mechatronics Research Unit is focused on the following topics: micromechanics and precision mechanics, microfluidics, surface tension effects and mechanical design of miniaturized products. Also we do research in biomechanics, in the topic of experimental and numerical analysis of the human joints and patient specific modeling.