Microfluidics and Nanofluidics

, Volume 16, Issue 1–2, pp 237–246 | Cite as

Directed transport and location-designated rotation of nanowires using ac electric fields

  • Ke Chen
  • Nan Xiang
  • Yunlin Quan
  • Xiaolu Zhu
  • Dongke Sun
  • Hong Yi
  • Zhonghua NiEmail author
Research Paper


The motion control of individual nanowires is essential for effective nanowire manipulation strategies. In this paper, we demonstrate a simple and general method to dynamically control the motion of a chemically untreated nanowire in a quadrupole electrode structure. The motion of single nanowires was determined by positive dielectrophoresis and orientational torque, which were induced by optionally exerting ac signals onto specific electrodes for regulating the electric field distribution in real time. A silver nanowire was guided to transform postures and transport directionally in a working regime of about 115 μm × 115 μm. The selected nanowire was then transported to a region of weak gradients and forced to rotate at the designated location subsequently. The behavior of the nanowires, including their posture, cornering time, linear displacement and location-designated rotation, was dynamically monitored and regulated. A simple analytical model was developed to derive the driving forces and torques on the nanowire.


Nanowires Directed transport Location-designated rotation 



This work was supported by Major Program of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (91023024), National 973 Program of China (2011CB707601), The National Natural Science Foundation of China (51145009), New Century Elitist Program by Ministry of Education of China (NCET-07-0180).

Supplementary material

Supplementary material 1 (MPG 914 kb)

Supplementary material 2 (MPG 4038 kb)

Supplementary material 3 (MPG 5664 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ke Chen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Nan Xiang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yunlin Quan
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xiaolu Zhu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Dongke Sun
    • 1
    • 2
  • Hong Yi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Zhonghua Ni
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Mechanical EngineeringSoutheast UniversityNanjingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Jiangsu Key Laboratory for Design and Manufacture of Micro-Nano Biomedical InstrumentsSoutheast UniversityNanjingPeople’s Republic of China

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