Abstract

We present the miniaturization of self-mixing interferometry (SMI) into a microfluidic circuit using an optical fiber, forming an optofluidic device that can be used as a component in lab on a chip systems. We characterize the performance of the device as a fluid velocity (and hence flow) sensor, showing it to produce good accuracy and correlation with theory over a range of velocities from 0.5 to 60mm/s and almost four decades of scatterer concentration. SMI in an optofluidic system has the advantage that only a single path to the optical inspection point is needed, as the laser source is also the receiver of light. In addition, the same system that is used for measuring fluid velocity can be used to measure other quantities such as particle size. The configuration presented is inherently easy to optically align due to the self-aligned property of SMI and divergent nature of light exiting the embedded optical fiber, providing for low-cost manufacturing.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

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