The Assembly of Microwires from Monomeric Solution of Nanoparticles Using Dielectrophoresis
Ryan P. Slopek and James F. Gilchrist. Department of Chemical Engineering, Lehigh University, 111 Research Dr., Bethlehem, PA 18015
The self-assembly of colloidal particles in electric fields enables the one-step formation of microwires with unique structures and properties that have the potential to advance the fabrication of high quality photonic and electrical devices. Positive dielectrophoresis in an alternating current (AC) field was used to direct the growth of microwires between planer electrodes immersed in solutions of photosensitive acrylate monomer with a small fraction of conductive nanoparticles. The microwires were frozen in place via polymerization of the sample upon exposure to UV light. The growth rate and structure of the wires were characterized using optical microscopy and X-ray scanning microscopy. In addition, the effect of varying the particle concentration, particle composition, initiator concentration, and strength of the electric field on wire formation was examined.