Dynamically reconfigurable liquid-core liquid-cladding lens in a microfluidic channel

Sindy K.Y. Tang, Claudiu A. Stan, George M. Whitesides

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

154 Scopus citations


This paper describes the design and operation of a liquid-core liquid-cladding (L2) lens formed by the laminar flow of three streams of liquids in a microchannel whose width expands laterally in the region where the lens forms. Two streams of liquid with a lower refractive index (the cladding) sandwich a stream of liquid with a higher refractive index (the core). As the core stream enters the expansion chamber, it widens and becomes biconvex in shape, for some rates of flow. This biconvex fluidic element focuses light. Manipulating the relative rates of flow of the streams reconfigures the shape, and therefore the focal distance, of the L2 lens. This paper also describes a technique for beam tracing, and for characterization of a lens in an enclosed micro-scale optical system. The use of a cladding liquid with refractive index matched to that of the material used in the fabrication of the microfluidic system (here, poly(dimethylsiloxane)) improves the quality of the focused beam.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)395-401
Number of pages7
JournalLab on a Chip
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biomedical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Dynamically reconfigurable liquid-core liquid-cladding lens in a microfluidic channel'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this