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Nanotechnology. 2011 Jun 17;22(24):245103. doi: 10.1088/0957-4484/22/24/245103. Epub 2011 Apr 21.

Non-vanishing ponderomotive AC electrophoretic effect for particle trapping.

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  • 1Department of Electrical Engineering, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.


We present here a study on overlooked aspects of alternating current (AC) electrokinetics-AC electrophoretic (ACEP) phenomena. The dynamics of a particle with both polarizability and net charges in a non-uniform AC electric trapping field is investigated. It is found that either electrophoretic (EP) or dielectrophoretic (DEP) effects can dominate the trapping dynamics, depending on experimental conditions. A dimensionless parameter γ is developed to predict the relative strength of EP and DEP effects in a quadrupole AC field. An ACEP trap is feasible for charged particles in 'salt-free' or low salt concentration solutions. In contrast to DEP traps, an ACEP trap favors the downscaling of the particle size.

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