Optofluidic differential spectroscopy for absorbance detection of sub-nanolitre liquid samples
We present a novel optofluidic differential method for carrying out absorbance spectroscopy of subnanolitre volumes of liquid samples on a microfluidic chip. Due to the reduction of liquid volume, the absorbance detection in microfluidics is often hindered by either low sensitivity or complex fabrication. To address this issue, we introduced an optofluidic modulator which can be easily integrated into a PDMS (polydimethylsiloxane) based microfluidic chip. The modulator was controlled by the fluid pressure and the absorbance spectrum of the analyte was obtained by taking differential measurements between the analyte and reference medium. An advantage is that this method doesn't need a complicated fabrication step. It is compatible with conventional microfluidic chips and measurements can be carried out on a normal transmission microscope. The performance of the device was tested by measuring solutions containing methylene blue, with concentrations as low as 13 mu M.