Deterministic Assembly of Functional Nanostructures Using Nonuniform Electric Fields

Annual Review of Physical Chemistry

Vol. 63:241-263 (Volume publication date May 2012)
First published online as a Review in Advance on January 10, 2012


The force induced on anisotropic nanoparticles in a nonuniform electric field can be used to attract, orient, and position the nanoparticles with respect to microelectrodes on a surface. For polarizable nanomaterials, such as nanowires, carbon nanotubes, or graphene sheets suspended in solvent, this dielectrophoretic force results in movement to regions of highest electric field strength. This review discusses the origin of this force, its production by different microelectrode designs, and its use for nanomaterials assembly, with a focus on efforts toward heterogeneous integration with on-chip electronics for single-particle characterization and device structures.