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Light-Driven Locomotion of Bubbles

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posted on 07.01.2020, 19:36 by Masaya Ito, Hiroyuki Mayama, Yuta Asaumi, Yoshinobu Nakamura, Syuji Fujii
Remotely controlling the movement of small objects is a challenging research topic, which can realize the transportation of materials. In this study, remote locomotion control of particle-stabilized bubbles on a planar water surface by near-infrared laser or sunlight irradiation is demonstrated. A light-induced Marangoni flow was utilized to induce the locomotion of the bubbles on water surface, and the timing and direction of the locomotion can be controlled by irradiation timing and direction on demand. The velocity, acceleration, and force of the bubbles were analyzed. It was also confirmed that the bubbles can work as light-driven towing engines to pull other objects. Furthermore, it was demonstrated that the bubbles can work as an adhesive to bond two solid substrates by application of compressive stress under water. Such remote transport of the materials, pulling of the objects by light, and controlling the release of gas on demand should open up a wide field of conceivable applications.