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Journal Article

Dielectrophoretic ratchets


Spatz,  Joachim P.
Cellular Biophysics, Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Max Planck Society;
Biophysical Chemistry, Institute of Physical Chemistry, University of Heidelberg, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany;

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Gorre-Talini, L., Spatz, J. P., & Silberzan, P. (1998). Dielectrophoretic ratchets. Chaos, 8, 650-656. doi:10.1063/1.166347.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002B-0796-4
We have experimentally applied some concepts of "force-free" motion to micron size particles (latex beads). The coupling of dissipation and local spatial asymmetry of the potential experienced by the beads can put them into motion. The potentials used in these experiments are of dielectrophoretic nature. To that end, electrodes of particular shapes were used in order to submit the considered suspensions to inhomogeneous ac electric fields. Two regimes were explored: i-the Brownian ratchet case in which a Brownian particle is successively trapped in a factory roof-like potential and left free to diffuse. ii-the shifted ratchets case in which two potentials exhibiting similar characteristics are applied successively, one of them being shifted by a fraction of their common period relatively to the other. In both cases, a good agreement with the theoretical predictions was observed. In particular, particles of different sizes were characterized by different macroscopic velocities leading to the prospect of promising separation techniques. (c) 1998 American Institute of Physics.