, Volume 7, Issue 5, pp 633-645
Date: 17 Feb 2009

Dielectrophoretic separation of carbon nanotubes and polystyrene microparticles

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Abstract

The separation of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) and polystyrene microparticles using a dielectrophoresis (DEP) system is presented. The DEP system consists of arrays of parallel microelectrodes patterned on a glass substrate. The performance of the system is evaluated by means of numerical simulations. The MWCNTs demonstrate a positive DEP behaviour and can be trapped at the regions of high electric field. However, the polystyrene microparticles demonstrate a negative DEP behaviour at a certain range of frequencies and migrate to the regions of low electric field. Experiments are performed on the microparticles at the frequencies between 100 Hz and 1 MHz to estimate their crossover frequency and select the range of separation frequencies. Further, experiments are conducted at the obtained range of separation frequencies to separate the MWCNTs and polystyrene microparticles.