Microfluidics and Nanofluidics

, Volume 8, Issue 5, pp 609–617

Manipulation and patterning of carbon nanotubes utilizing optically induced dielectrophoretic forces

Research Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10404-009-0492-8

Cite this article as:
Lee, MW., Lin, YH. & Lee, GB. Microfluid Nanofluid (2010) 8: 609. doi:10.1007/s10404-009-0492-8

Abstract

This study reports an optically driven platform upon which the manipulation and patterning of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) can be accomplished. A photoconductive layer made of amorphous silicon generates a nonuniform electric field within the developed platform at specific optically illuminated sites, which are usually referred to as “virtual electrodes,” that induces dielectrophoretic forces for manipulating the CNTs. The software-controlled light patterns enable a variety of flexible manipulation modes since it is now possible to dynamically reconfigure the optically projected electrode patterns. This approach allows for real-time manipulation and miscellaneous patterning of CNTs. The sorting and separation of bundled and dispersed CNTs is also demonstrated. This developed platform may be promising for rapid fabrication of CNT-based nanosensors together with nanoelectronics, purification as well as classification of synthesized CNTs and other applications requiring nanoscale manipulation.

Keywords

Optically induced dielectrophoresisCarbon nanotubesSeparationNano-patterning

Abbreviations and Nomenclature

a-Si

Hydrogenated amorphous silicon

AC

Alternating current

CCD

Charge-coupled device

CM

Clausius–Mossotti

CNTs

Carbon nanotubes

DEP

Dielectrophoretic

DI

Deionized

E

Intensity of the applied electric field

Fdep

Dielectrophoretic force

ITO

Indium-tin-oxide

\( \overline{K} \)

Clausius–Mossotti factor

LCD

Liquid crystal display

MWCNTs

Multi-walled carbon nanotubes

ODEP

Optically induced dielectrophoretic

OET

Optoelectronic tweezers

OT

Optical tweezers

PECVD

Plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition

R

Radius of the submicron spherical particle

SDS

Sodium dodecyl sulfate

SWCNTs

Single-walled carbon nanotubes

l

Length of the nanotubes

εm

Electrical permittivity of the surrounding buffer

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Engineering ScienceNational Cheng Kung UniversityTainanTaiwan