Combination of ac electroosmosis and dielectrophoresis for particle manipulation on electrically-induced microscale wave structures

Cheng Che Chung, Tomasz Glawdel, Carolyn L. Ren, Hsien Chang Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


This work presents a simple method to fabricate controllable microscale wave structures on the top of regular interdigitated electrode (IDE) arrays using electrically-assisted lithography techniques. Smooth wave structures are extremely difficult, if not impossible, to fabricate using traditional multilayer photolithography technology. The fabricated wave structures were carefully measured using an optical profiler and the measured wave profiles were used in the numerical simulation of electrical field and for evaluating the parameters influencing the fabricated wave structure. It is demonstrated that the combined smooth wave structure and IDE array offer unique capability for particle manipulation including particle concentration, aggregation and separation. Particle motion manipulated via the combined wave structure and IDE array is governed by ac electroosmosis (ACEO), dielectrophoresis (DEP) or a combination of both depending on the applied frequency. At lower frequencies (∼30 kHz), ACEO dominates and particles are driven to move along the valleys of the wave structures; while at higher frequencies (∼200 kHz), DEP force dominates which concentrates particles at the peaks of the wave structures. In addition, varying the ac waveform from sine-wave to square-wave allows for dynamic control of particle motion. Size-dependent particle separation over the wave structure is also demonstrated for a mixture of 0.5 μ m and 2 μ m particles that are separated into two populations by the joint effects of drag and DEP forces when being pumped to flow via ACEO.

Original languageEnglish
Article number035003
JournalJournal of Micromechanics and Microengineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Mar 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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