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Open AccessArticle

Three-Dimensional Interaction of a Large Number of Dense DEP Particles on a Plane Perpendicular to an AC Electrical Field

1
School of Civil Engineering and Mechanics, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074, China
2
School of Urban Construction Engineering, Wenhua College, Wuhan 430074, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
This paper is an extended version of our paper published in the 2016 International Conference of Microfluidics, Nanofluidics and Lab-on-a-Chip, Dalian, China, 10–12 June 2016.[...]
Academic Editors: Yongxin Song, Junsheng Wang, Dongqing Li and Nam-Trung Nguyen
Micromachines 2017, 8(1), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi8010026
Received: 17 October 2016 / Revised: 23 December 2016 / Accepted: 16 January 2017 / Published: 20 January 2017
The interaction of dielectrophoresis (DEP) particles in an electric field has been observed in many experiments, known as the “particle chains phenomenon”. However, the study in 3D models (spherical particles) is rarely reported due to its complexity and significant computational cost. In this paper, we employed the iterative dipole moment (IDM) method to study the 3D interaction of a large number of dense DEP particles randomly distributed on a plane perpendicular to a uniform alternating current (AC) electric field in a bounded or unbounded space. The numerical results indicated that the particles cannot move out of the initial plane. The similar particles (either all positive or all negative DEP particles) always repelled each other, and did not form a chain. The dissimilar particles (a mixture of positive and negative DEP particles) always attracted each other, and formed particle chains consisting of alternately arranged positive and negative DEP particles. The particle chain patterns can be randomly multitudinous depending on the initial particle distribution, the electric properties of particles/fluid, the particle sizes and the number of particles. It is also found that the particle chain patterns can be effectively manipulated via tuning the frequency of the AC field and an almost uniform distribution of particles in a bounded plane chip can be achieved when all of the particles are similar, which may have potential applications in the particle manipulation of microfluidics. View Full-Text
Keywords: dielectrophoresis; particle interaction; iterative dipole moment (IDM) method; alternating current (AC) field dielectrophoresis; particle interaction; iterative dipole moment (IDM) method; alternating current (AC) field
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MDPI and ACS Style

Xie, C.; Chen, B.; Wu, J. Three-Dimensional Interaction of a Large Number of Dense DEP Particles on a Plane Perpendicular to an AC Electrical Field. Micromachines 2017, 8, 26.

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