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Dielectrophoretic choking phenomenon in a converging‐diverging microchannel for Janus particles

Zhou, Teng, Ji, Xiang, Shi, Liuyong, Zhang, Xianman, Deng, Yongbo, Joo, Sang Woo
Electrophoresis 2019 v.40 no.6 pp. 993-999
dielectrophoresis, electric field, electrophoresis, nanoparticles
The dielectrophoretic (DEP) choking phenomenon is revisited for Janus particles that are transported electrokinetically through a microchannel constriction by a direct‐current (DC) electric field. The negative DEP force that would block a particle with a diameter significantly smaller than that of the constriction at its inlet is seen to be relaxed by the rotation of the Janus particle in a direction that minimizes the magnitude of the DEP force. This allows the particle to pass through the constriction completely. An arbitrary Lagrangian‐Eulerian (ALE) numerical method is used to solve the nonlinearly coupled electric field, flow field, and moving particle, and the DEP force is calculated by the Maxwell stress tensor (MST) method. The results show how Janus particles with non‐uniform surface potentials overcome the DEP force and present new conditions for the DEP choking by a parametric study. Particle transportation through microchannel constrictions is ubiquitous, and particle surface properties are more likely to be non‐uniform than not in practical applications. This study provides new insights of importance for non‐uniform particles transported electrokinetically in a microdevice.