Water's tensile strength measured using an optofluidic chip

Z. G. Li, S. Xiong, L. K. Chin, K. Ando, J. B. Zhang, A. Q. Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, for the first time, the tensile strength of water is directly measured using an optofluidic chip based on the displacement of air-water interface deformation with homogeneous nucleation. When water in a microchannel is stretched dynamically via laser-induced shock reflection at the air-water interface, the shock pressures are determined by measuring the displacements of the deformed interface. Observation of the vapor bubbles is used as a probe to identify the cavitation threshold with a critical distance, and the tensile strength of water at 20 °C is measured to be -33.3 ± 2.8 MPa. This method can be extended to investigate the tensile strength of other soft materials such as glycerol, which is measured to be -59.8 ± 10.7 MPa at 20 °C.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2158-2161
Number of pages4
JournalLab on a Chip
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2015 May 21

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biochemistry
  • General Chemistry
  • Biomedical Engineering


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