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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/I013377/1
Title: Optical Control of Emulsion Drops for Nanofluidics and Microfabrication
Principal Investigator: Bain, Professor CD
Other Investigators:
Love, Professor G Lubansky, Dr AS Hutchings, Professor LR
Chakrabarti, Dr B
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Chemistry
Organisation: Durham, University of
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 April 2011 Ends: 30 September 2015 Value (£): 1,077,634
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Complex fluids & soft solids Lasers & Optics
Materials Synthesis & Growth Microsystems
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
EP/I013342/1 EP/I013237/1
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
01 Sep 2010 Physical Sciences Panel - Chemistry Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Ground-breaking discoveries at the STFC's Central Laser Facility showed that optical traps can be used to control the shape of micron-sized emulsion droplets, to create droplets connected by stable threads of oil a thousand times thinner than a human hair and to pump liquids from one drop to another through these nanothreads. This project will explore the science behind these discoveries and develop prospective applications. First, we will develop a robust experimental and theoretical framework for manipulating emulsion drops and for creating nanofluidic networks with laser beams. Second, we will use this platform to reveal the physical and chemical principles governing the structure and dynamics of these nanothreads and use the nanothreads to explore the physics of transport in nanofluidic networks. Third, optical deformation of polymerisable emulsions will be developed as a technology for microfabrication of polymer objects with complex 3-D shapes. Such microparticles have potential applications in medical devices, drug delivery, MEMS, photonic materials and ion sources. Finally, we will establish the principles for using these nanofluidic networks to carry out chemical reactions on the attolitre scale.
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