Microfluidics and Nanofluidics

, Volume 8, Issue 5, pp 609–617 | Cite as

Manipulation and patterning of carbon nanotubes utilizing optically induced dielectrophoretic forces

Research Paper

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 dielectrophoresis Carbon nanotubes Separation Nano-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

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank the National Science Council in Taiwan for their financial support. Valuable discussion regarding the preparation of CNT samples with Dr. Wen J. Li is greatly appreciated.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Engineering ScienceNational Cheng Kung UniversityTainanTaiwan

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