FEM Simulation of Nanotubes Manipulation using Dielectrophoreseis

V. Mathur1, J. Li1, J. Therrien2, and W. D. Goodhue1
1Photonics Center, Department of Physics and Applied Physics, University of Massachusetts, Lowell, MA, USA
2Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Massachusetts, Lowell, MA, USA

Several methods have been demonstrated for depositing nanotubes on microstructures, ranging from using an atomic force microscope (AFM) tip for single tube manipulation to chemically pre-patterning the substrate.

However, these techniques have a very low yield and poor reproducibility. Sorting techniques involving filtration and ultrasonication face similar issues.

Recently, electric field assisted assembly utilizing dielectrophoresis has been shown to be much more effective in this regard.

The finite element method (FEM) (COMSOL package) has been employed here to model this phenomenon. In the FEM model, a pair of micro-electrodes is biased to generate a concentrated non-uniform electric field in an electrolyte in which single walled nanotubes (SWNTs) are dispersed.