Sensitive flowmeter with a large dynamic range is highly desirable for microfluidic applications. We developed an optofluidic flow rate sensor, with a dynamic range of about 3 orders of magnitude, based on the optical manipulation of a microparticle by a single mode fiber (SMF) with a flat endface. A single polystyrene microsphere was trapped on the optical axis by the 980 nm laser emitting from SMF and the force balance between the optical force and flow force was used for sensing. The manipulation distance was detected as a function of the flow rate. The measurement range of the flow rate can cover 20 - 22000 nL/min with a laser power of 11.4 mW to 146.3 mW. The maximum manipulation length is about 715 μm. The experimental results indicate that the sensor has a good repeatability for the flow rate measurement.
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