The ability to manipulate and control active microparticles is essential for designing microrobots for applications. This paper describes the use of electric and magnetic fields to control the direction and speed of induced-charge electrophoresis (ICEP) driven metallic Janus microrobots. A direct current (DC) magnetic field applied in the direction perpendicular to the electric field maintains the linear movement of particles in a 2D plane. Phoretic force spectroscopy (PFS), a phase-sensitive detection method to detect the motions of phoretic particles, is used to characterize the frequency-dependent phoretic mobility and drag coefficient of the phoretic force. When the electric field is scanned over a frequency range of 1 kHz–1 MHz, the Janus particles exhibit an ICEP direction reversal at a crossover frequency at ~30 kH., Below this crossover frequency, the particle moves in a direction towards the dielectric side of the particle, and above this frequency, the particle moves towards the metallic side. The ICEP phoretic drag coefficient measured by PFS is found to be similar to that of the Stokes drag. Further investigation is required to study microscopic interpretations of the frequency at which ICEP mobility switched signs and the reason why the magnitudes of the forward and reversed modes of ICEP are so different.
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