Manipulating and assembling metallic beads with optoelectronic tweezers

Neale, S. , Zhang, S., Juvert, J. and Cooper, J. (2016) Manipulating and assembling metallic beads with optoelectronic tweezers. Scientific Reports, 6, 32840. (doi: 10.1038/srep32840) (PMID:27599445) (PMCID:PMC5013433)

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Optoelectronic tweezers (OET) or light-patterned dielectrophoresis (DEP) has been developed as a micromanipulation technology for controlling micro- and nano-particles with applications such as cell sorting and studying cell communications. Additionally, the capability of moving small objects accurately and assembling them into arbitrary 2D patterns also makes OET an attractive technology for microfabrication applications. In this work, we demonstrated the use of OET to manipulate conductive silver-coated Poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) microspheres (50 μm diameter) into tailored patterns. It was found that the microspheres could be moved at a max velocity of 3200 μm/s, corresponding to 4.2 nano-newton (10−9 N) DEP force, and also could be positioned with high accuracy via this DEP force. The underlying mechanism for this strong DEP force is shown by our simulations to be caused by a significant increase of the electric field close to the particles, due to the interaction between the field and the silver shells coating the microspheres. The associated increase in electrical gradient causes DEP forces that are much stronger than any previously reported for an OET device, which facilitates manipulation of the metallic microspheres efficiently without compromise in positioning accuracy and is important for applications on electronic component assembling and circuit construction.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Neale, Dr Steven and Cooper, Professor Jonathan and Juvert, Dr Joan and Zhang, Dr Shuailong
Authors: Neale, S., Zhang, S., Juvert, J., and Cooper, J.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering
College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Biomedical Engineering
College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Electronics and Nanoscale Engineering
Journal Name:Scientific Reports
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN (Online):2045-2322
Published Online:07 September 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 The Authors
First Published:First published in Scientific Reports 6:32840
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
652331Assembly of electronic components with Optoelectronic TweezersSteven NealeEngineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/L022257/1ENG - BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING