In this paper we describe a method to simultaneously control both the position and orientation of single nano-objects in fluids by precisely controlling the flow around them. We develop and simulate a control law that uses electro-osmotic flow (EOF) actuation to translate and rotate rigid nano-objects in two spatial dimensions. Using EOF to control nano-objects offers advantages as compared to other approaches: a wide class of objects can be manipulated (no magnetic or electric dipole moments are needed), the object can be controlled over a long range (> 100 microns) with sub-micron accuracy, and control is achieved using a simple polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) device. We demonstrate the theory and numerical solutions that will enable deterministic control of the position and orientation of a nano-object in solution, which can be used for example, to integrate nanostructures in circuits and orient sensors to probe living cells.
Citation: New Journal of Physics
Pub Type: Journals
Flow control, electro-osmotic flow, position, orientation, nano-objects