Abstract

Using an optical microfiber coupler (MC), we present a microfluidic platform for strong direct or indirect light-liquid interaction by wrapping a MC around a functionalized capillary. The light propagating in the MC and the liquid flowing in the capillary can be combined and divorced smoothly, keeping a long-distance interaction without the conflict of input and output coupling. Using this approach, we experimentally demonstrate a “hot-wire” microfluidic flowmeter based on a gold-integrated helical MC device. The microfluid inside the glass channel takes away the heat, then cools the MC and shifts the resonant wavelength. Due to the long-distance interaction and high temperature sensitivity, the proposed microfluidic flowmeter shows an ultrahigh flow rate sensitivity of 2.183 nm/(μl/s) at a flow rate of 1 μl/s. The minimum detectable change of the flow rate is around 9 nl/s at 1 μl/s.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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