Recent advances in the development of lab-on-a-chip devices have been rapid and broad ranging. In general however these devices, while containing micro- or even nano-scale components, rely heavily on macroscale infrastructure (e.g. microscopes, chip readers and power sources) to perform much of the actual product detection and subsequent analysis. As such to enable the next generation of portable lab-on-chip devices, techniques for simply and cheaply integrating on-chip analysis functionalities will be required. In this work we present our work directed towards the development of a new concept in rapid on-chip imaging which we refer to as "optofluidic microscopy (OFM)". Here we present an overview of the imaging theory, fabrication procedure and operational details of the initial prototype. Preliminary experimental results of this on-chip optical imager are also reported. A significant advantage of the technique is that through proper spatial scaling, sub-wavelength resolution can be achieved without bulk optics.
Additional Information© 2005 ASME. This work was carried out under the funding support from the DARPA center for optofluidic integration. We thank the Caltech Watson clean room facility for the access of the micro-fabrication utility.