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Light-Guided Surface Plasmonic Bubble Movement via Contact Line De-Pinning by In-Situ Deposited Plasmonic Nanoparticle Heating

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posted on 10.12.2019, 20:43 by Qiushi Zhang, Yunsong Pang, Jarrod Schiffbauer, Aleksandar Jemcov, Hsueh-Chia Chang, Eungkyu Lee, Tengfei Luo
Precise spatiotemporal control of surface bubble movement can benefit a wide range of applications like high-throughput drug screening, combinatorial material development, microfluidic logic, colloidal and molecular assembly, and so forth. In this work, we demonstrate that surface bubbles on a solid surface are directed by a laser to move at high speeds (>1.8 mm/s), and we elucidate the mechanism to be the depinning of the three-phase contact line (TPCL) by rapid plasmonic heating of nanoparticles (NPs) deposited in situ during bubble movement. On the basis of our observations, we deduce a stick–slip mechanism based on asymmetric fore–aft plasmonic heating: local evaporation at the front TPCL due to plasmonic heating depins and extends the front TPCL, followed by the advancement of the trailing TPCL to resume a spherical bubble shape to minimize surface energy. The continuous TPCL drying during bubble movement also enables well-defined contact line deposition of NP clusters along the moving path. Our finding is beneficial to various microfluidics and pattern writing applications.