Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes Probed with Insulator-Based Dielectrophoresis

Mohammad Towshif Rabbani, Christoph F. Schmidt, Alexandra Ros

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) offer unique electrical and optical properties. Common synthesis processes yield SWNTs with large length polydispersity (several tens of nanometers up to centimeters) and heterogeneous electrical and optical properties. Applications often require suitable selection and purification. Dielectrophoresis is one manipulation method for separating SWNTs based on dielectric properties and geometry. Here, we present a study of surfactant and single-stranded DNA-wrapped SWNTs suspended in aqueous solutions manipulated by insulator-based dielectrophoresis (iDEP). This method allows us to manipulate SWNTs with the help of arrays of insulating posts in a microfluidic device around which electric field gradients are created by the application of an electric potential to the extremities of the device. Semiconducting SWNTs were imaged during dielectrophoretic manipulation with fluorescence microscopy making use of their fluorescence emission in the near IR. We demonstrate SWNT trapping at low-frequency alternating current (AC) electric fields with applied potentials not exceeding 1000 V. Interestingly, suspended SWNTs showed both positive and negative dielectrophoresis, which we attribute to their ζ potential and the suspension properties. Such behavior agrees with common theoretical models for nanoparticle dielectrophoresis. We further show that the measured ζ potentials and suspension properties are in excellent agreement with a numerical model predicting the trapping locations in the iDEP device. This study is fundamental for the future application of low-frequency AC iDEP for technological applications of SWNTs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13235-13244
Number of pages10
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Volume89
Issue number24
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 19 2017

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Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCN)
Electrophoresis
Suspensions
Electric properties
Optical properties
Electric fields
Single-Stranded DNA
Fluorescence microscopy
Polydispersity
Microfluidics
Surface-Active Agents
Dielectric properties
Purification
Numerical models
Fluorescence
Nanoparticles
Geometry
Electric potential

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry

Cite this

Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes Probed with Insulator-Based Dielectrophoresis. / Rabbani, Mohammad Towshif; Schmidt, Christoph F.; Ros, Alexandra.

In: Analytical Chemistry, Vol. 89, No. 24, 19.12.2017, p. 13235-13244.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Rabbani, Mohammad Towshif ; Schmidt, Christoph F. ; Ros, Alexandra. / Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes Probed with Insulator-Based Dielectrophoresis. In: Analytical Chemistry. 2017 ; Vol. 89, No. 24. pp. 13235-13244.
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