Spectroscopic characterisation and manipulation of arrays of sub-picolitre aerosol droplets

Jason R. Butler, Jon B. Wills, Laura Mitchem, Daniel R. Burnham, David McGloin, Jonathan P. Reid* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Arrays of optically tweezed aerosol droplets, each of sub-picolitre volume, are manipulated by holographic optical tweezers and characterised by cavity enhanced Raman spectroscopy. A spatial light modulator is employed to generate arrays of optical traps from a single laser beam and to control the array dimensions and relative trap positions. Comparative hygroscopicity measurements are performed concurrently on five trapped droplets by monitoring the evolving size of each droplet. This is extended to the controlled coalescence of an array of droplets accompanied by spectroscopic measurements. These data represent the first ever simultaneous measurements of the evolving composition and size of an array of aerosol droplets. We consider the possibility of using aerosol arrays as a platform for studying chemical reactions in sub-picolitre volumes, exploiting the versatility of aerosol arrays for performing optical digital microfluidic operations accompanied by micro-total analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)521-528
Number of pages8
JournalLab on a Chip
Issue number4
Early online date19 Nov 2008
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Bibliographical note

Acknowledgements: The authors gratefully acknowledge support from the EPSRC through support of an Advanced Research Fellowship (JPR), Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship (JBW and LM), and studentship support (JRB and DRB). DMG is a Royal Society University Research Fellow.


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