Micro/Nano-Manipulation Using Electrostatics Mechanism

K.M. Lee, T.Y. Choi
Mississippi College,
United States

Keywords: micromanipulation, nanomanipulation, nanomaterials, electrostatics


Fine controlling of micro/nano-scale materials is essential to study and characterize their fundamental properties in micro/nano-science and engineering. Micro/nano-manipulation is a key importance of a ‘fundamental’ technology as platforming materials characterization and building micro/nano-building elements. Therefore, it can be applied to scientific exploration of mesoscopic phenomena and the construction of prototype micro/nano-devices. In more details, this includes the precise manipulation of molecules, micro/nanoparticles, nanowires, carbon nanotubes, and other samples such as biological cells. However, the fine controlling of such small objects has been ever challenging because of the lack of cost-effectiveness and efficient process. The micro/nano-scale manipulation in this study is to employ a manipulator with electrostatics mechanism. Through the electrostatics mechanism, the manipulation system could successfully control micro/nano-scale materials (see figure 1). The study includes the physics of attracting micro/nano-scale materials, technology of process, and generation of the manipulation system. The manipulation mechanism in this study is a stand-alone and non-destructive manipulation without employing other complex processes (mostly expensive and destructive). This mechanism can be used for easy attaching and detaching of a small structure, placing it at desired sites. This will greatly affect the field of physics, materials science and engineering, and mechanical engineering where a single micro/nano-scale material should be isolated to characterize and study its property. Not only for research benefits, but the mechanism can be also a critical industrial tool for speedy production of fine structures with simple processes. For verification of the mechanism, we successfully isolated a single polyethylene microparticle from a bundle and place it at a desired location using the manipulation mechanism.