The European Physical Journal E

, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 133–142 | Cite as

Dielectrophoresis of nanocolloids: A molecular dynamics study

  • E. SalonenEmail author
  • E. Terama
  • I. Vattulainen
  • M. Karttunen
Original Article


Dielectrophoresis (DEP), the motion of polarizable particles in non-uniform electric fields, has become an important tool for the transport, separation, and characterization of microparticles in biomedical and nanoelectronics research. In this article we present, to our knowledge, the first molecular dynamics simulations of DEP of nanometer-sized colloidal particles. We introduce a simplified model for a polarizable nanoparticle, consisting of a large charged macroion and oppositely charged microions, in an explicit solvent. The model is then used to study DEP motion of the particle at different combinations of temperature and electric field strength. In accord with linear response theory, the particle drift velocities are shown to be proportional to the DEP force. Analysis of the colloid DEP mobility shows a clear time dependence, demonstrating the variation of friction under non-equilibrium. The time dependence of the mobility further results in an apparent weak variation of the DEP displacements with temperature.


82.20.Wt Computational modeling; simulation 61.25.Hq Macromolecular and polymer solutions; polymer melts; swelling 82.70.Dd Colloids 


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Copyright information

© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica and Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. Salonen
    • 1
    Email author
  • E. Terama
    • 1
  • I. Vattulainen
    • 1
    • 2
  • M. Karttunen
    • 3
  1. 1.Biological Physics and Soft Matter Group, Laboratory of Physics and Helsinki Institute of PhysicsHelsinki University of TechnologyFinland
  2. 2.Memphys-Center of Biomembrane Physics, Physics DepartmentUniversity of Southern DenmarkOdense MDenmark
  3. 3.Biophysics and Statistical Mechanics Group, Laboratory of Computational EngineeringHelsinki University of TechnologyFinland

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