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Effect of solution conductivity and electrode shape on the deposition of carbon nanotubes from solution using dielectrophoresis

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Nanotechnology, Volume 23, Issue 49, p.495606-1 - 495606-9 (2012)



Dielectrophoresis (DEP) is a popular technique for fabricating carbon nanotube (CNT) devices. The electric current passing through the solution during DEP creates a temperature gradient, which results in electrothermal fluid flow because of the presence of the electric field. CNT solutions prepared with various methods can have different conductivities and the motion of the solution because of the electrothermal phenomenon can affect the DEP deposition differently in each case. We investigated the effect of this movement in solutions with various levels of conductivity through experiments as well as numerical modeling. Our results show that electrothermal motion in the solution can alter the deposition pattern of the nanotubes drastically for high conductivity solutions, while DEP remains the dominant force when a low conductivity (surfactant-free) solution is used. The extent of effectiveness of each force is discussed in the various cases and the fluid movement model is investigated using two- and three-dimensional finite element simulations.

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