In this work, we characterize the laser induced, opto-mechanical actuation of carbon nanotube (CNT)/polymer composite membranes for use in microfluidic pumping applications. Until recently, the use of opto-mechanical actuation in the field of microfluidics had not been realized [1]. This novel form of actuation offers distinct advantages over conventional external and integrated microfluidic pump actuators. Of particular interest are the abilities to decouple the pump and actuation mechanisms and wirelessly actuate microfluidic pumps. This research utilizes previously demonstrated fabrication methods to produce and test CNT/Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) polymer pump membranes [1]. By varying the thickness of the CNT film layer within composite pump membranes, and by adjusting the laser intensity used to actuate the membranes, the deflection of microfluidic pump membranes can be tuned to achieve precise volume displacement and pumping volumes.

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