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We propose a simplified multifunctional traffic control approach that effectively combines dielectrophoresis (DEP) and alternating current electrothermal (ACET) flow to realize continuous particle trapping, switching and sorting. In the designed microsystem, the combined DEP and ACET effects, which are symmetrically generated above a bipolar electrode surface, contribute to focus the incoming colloidal particles into a thin beam. Once the bipolar electrode is energized with an electric gate signal completely in phase with the driving alternating current (AC) signal, the spatial symmetry of the electric field can be artificially reordered by adjusting the gate voltage through field-effect traffic control. This results in a reshapable field stagnant region for precise switching of particles into the region of interest. Moreover, the integrated particle switching prior to the scaled particle trapping experiment is successfully conducted to demonstrate the feasibility of the combined strategy. Furthermore, a mixture of two types of particle sorting (i.e. density, size) with quick response performance is achieved by increasing the driving voltage with a maximum gate voltage offset, thus extending the versatility of the designed device. Finally, droplet switching and filtration of the satellite droplets from the parent droplets is performed to successfully permit control of the droplet traffic. The proposed traffic control approach provides a promising technique for flexible manipulation of particulate samples and can be conveniently integrated with other micro/nanofluidic components into a complete functional on-chip platform owing to its simple geometric structure, easy operation and multifunctionality.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Analytical chemistry
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