Triaxial AFM probes for noncontact trapping and manipulation.

School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and Department of Physics, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, United States.
Nano Letters (Impact Factor: 13.03). 08/2011; 11(8):3197-201. DOI: 10.1021/nl201434t
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We show that a triaxial atomic force microscopy probe creates a noncontact trap for a single particle in a fluid via negative dielectrophoresis. A zero in the electric field profile traps the particle above the probe surface, avoiding adhesion, and the repulsive region surrounding the zero pushes other particles away, preventing clustering. Triaxial probes are promising for three-dimensional assembly and for selective imaging of a particular property of a sample using interchangeable functionalized particles.

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