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A 3-D Nanoelectrokinetic Model for Predictive Assembly of Nanowire Arrays using Floating Electrode Dielectrophoresis

10.19.2018 Article Published

K. Singh, N. Aryaan, M.R.A. Shikder, B. W. Byles, E. Pomerantseva, and A. Subramanian. Nanotechnology 30, 025301 (2019).


Floating electrode dielectrophoresis (FE-DEP) presents a promising avenue for scalable assembly of nanowire (NW) arrays on silicon chips and offers better control in limiting the number of deposited NWs when compared with the conventional, two-electrode DEP process. This article presents a 3D nanoelectrokinetic model, which calculates the imposed electric field and its resultant NW force/velocity maps within the region of influence of an electrode array operating in the FE-DEP configuration. This enables the calculation of NW trajectories and their eventual localization sites on the target electrodes as a function of parameters such as NW starting position, NW size, the applied electric field, suspension concentration, and deposition time. The accuracy of this model has been established through a direct quantitative comparison with the assembly of manganese dioxide NW arrays. Further analysis of the computed data reveals interesting insights into the following aspects: (a) asymmetry in NW localization at electrode sites, and (b) the workspace regions from which NWs are drawn to assemble such that their center-of-mass is located either in the inter-electrode gap region (desired) or on top of one of the assembly electrodes (undesired). This analysis is leveraged to outline a strategy, which involves a physical confinement of the NW suspension within lithographically patterned reservoirs during assembly, for single NW deposition across large arrays with high estimated assembly yields on the order of 87%.