Negative dielectrophoresis-based particle separation by size in a serpentine microchannel

Christopher Church, Junjie Zhu, Xiangchun Xuan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Dielectrophoresis has been widely used to focus, trap, concentrate, and sort particles in microfluidic devices. This work demonstrates a continuous separation of particles by size in a serpentine microchannel using negative dielectrophoresis. Depending on the magnitude of the turn-induced dielectrophoretic force, particles travelling electrokinetically through a serpentine channel either migrate toward the centerline or bounce between the two sidewalls. These distinctive focusing and bouncing phenomena are utilized to implement a dielectrophoretic separation of 1 and 3μm polystyrene particles under a DC-biased AC electric field of 880V/cm on average. The particle separation process in the entire microchannel is simulated by a numerical model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)527-531
Number of pages5
Issue number5
StatePublished - Feb 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Dielectrophoresis
  • Electrokinetic flow
  • Microfluidics
  • Particle separation
  • Serpentine microchannel


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