Shape-dependent orientation of thermophoretic forces in microsystems

Qi Li, Tengfei Liang, Wenjing Ye

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

It is generally acknowledged that the direction of the thermophoretic force acting on microparticles is largely determined by the imposed temperature gradient, and the shape of the microparticle has little influence on its direction. We show that one type of thermophoretic force, emerged due to the advent of microfabrication techniques, is highly sensitive to object shape, and it is feasible to tune force orientation via proper shape design. We reveal the underlying mechanism by an asymptotic analysis of the Boltzmann equation and point out the reason why the classical thermophoretic force is insensitive to the particle shape, but the force in microsystems is. The discovered phenomenon could find its applications in methods for microparticle manipulation and separation.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPhysical Review E
Volume88
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 24 2013
Externally publishedYes

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