Local heating of discrete droplets using magnetic porous silicon-based photonic crystals.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


J Am Chem Soc, Volume 128, Issue 24, p.7938-46 (2006)


Crystallization, DNA, Electromagnetic Fields, Ferric Compounds, Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer, Heating, Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Interactions, Magnetics, Microfluidics, Nanostructures, Particle Size, Photons, Porosity, Silicon, Surface Properties, Time Factors


<p>This paper describes a method for local heating of discrete microliter-scale liquid droplets. The droplets are covered with magnetic porous Si microparticles, and heating is achieved by application of an external alternating electromagnetic field. The magnetic porous Si microparticles consist of two layers. The top layer contains a photonic code and it is hydrophobic, with surface-grafted dodecyl moieties. The bottom layer consists of a hydrophilic silicon oxide host layer that is infused with Fe3O4 nanoparticles. The amphiphilic microparticles spontaneously align at the interface of a water droplet immersed in mineral oil, allowing manipulation of the droplets by application of a magnetic field. Application of an oscillating magnetic field (338 kHz, 18 A rms current in a coil surrounding the experiment) generates heat in the superparamagnetic particles that can raise the temperature of the enclosed water droplet to &gt;80 degrees C within 5 min. A simple microfluidics application is demonstrated: combining complementary DNA strands contained in separate droplets and then thermally inducing dehybridization of the conjugate. The complementary oligonucleotides were conjugated with the cyanine dye fluorophores Cy3 and Cy5 to quantify the melting/rebinding reaction by fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET). The magnetic porous Si microparticles were prepared as photonic crystals, containing spectral codes that allowed the identification of the droplets by reflectivity spectroscopy. The technique demonstrates the feasibility of tagging, manipulating, and heating small volumes of liquids without the use of conventional microfluidic channel and heating systems.</p>