Precise selective deposition of microparticles on electrodes of microelectronic chips

Rev Sci Instrum. 2008 Mar;79(3):035106. doi: 10.1063/1.2900012.


We examined the high precision deposition of toner and polymer microparticles with a typical size of approximately 10 microm on electrode arrays with electrodes of 100 microm and below using custom-made microelectronic chips. Selective desorption of redundant particles was employed to obtain a given particle pattern from preadsorbed particle layers. Microparticle desorption was regulated by dielectrophoretic attracting forces generated by individual pixel electrodes, tangential detaching forces of an air flow, and adhesion forces on the microchip surface. A theoretical consideration of the acting forces showed that without pixel voltage, the tangential force applied for particle detachment exceeded the particle adhesion force. When the pixel voltage was switched on, however, the sum of attracting forces was larger than the tangential detaching force, which was crucial for desorption efficiency. In our experiments, appropriately large dielectrophoretic forces were achieved by applying high voltages of up to 100 V on the pixel electrodes. In addition, electrode geometries on the chip's surface as well as particle size influenced the desorption quality. We further demonstrated the compatibility of this procedure to complementary metal oxide semiconductor chip technology, which should allow for an easy technical implementation with respect to high-resolution microparticle deposition.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Electricity
  • Microchip Analytical Procedures / methods*
  • Microelectrodes*
  • Particle Size
  • Polymers*
  • Semiconductors
  • Surface Properties


  • Polymers