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Advances in OptoElectronics
Volume 2011, Article ID 237026, 10 pages
Research Article

Optoelectronic Heating for Fabricating Microfluidic Circuitry

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA

Received 7 June 2011; Accepted 1 August 2011

Academic Editor: Eric Pei Yu Chiou

Copyright © 2011 Gauvain Haulot and Chih-Ming Ho. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This work reports on optoelectronic-based heaters that can transduce low-power optical images into high-power heating to melt frozen liquids and form desired microfluidic circuitry. The mechanism of optoelectronic heating (OEH) was studied and characterized. OEH relies on photocurrent heating in the illuminated parts of actuating images. Resolution was affected by dark current heating. Photocurrents and dark currents were measured and related to the operating parameters. Successful melting of a frozen media within seconds with 2 mW light patterns and a 4 V operating voltage was demonstrated with feature sizes down to 200 μm × 200 μm. Strategies to increase resolution were addressed. It was shown that the size and location of heating areas can be reliably and rapidly reconfigured by changing the actuating image.