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We present a novel light-actuated ac electroosmosis (LACE) mechanism that allows the concentration and transportation of micro- and nanoscopic particles using light-patterned dynamically reconfigured microfluidic vortices on a photoconductive surface. LACE is realized by sandwiching an aqueous liquid medium between a featureless photoconductive surface and a transparent indium tin oxide electrode. By applying an ac electrical bias with a frequency that is close to the electric double-layer relaxation frequency, a light-patterned virtual electrode can induce ac electroosmotic flow to concentrate and transport nanoscopic particles on the photoconductive surface. By integrating with a spatial light modulator such as a digital micromirror device microdisplay, we can create 31000 microfluidic vortices on a 1.3 times 1-mm2 area for massively parallel trapping of 2- and 1-mum polystyrene beads. We have also demonstrated LACE concentration and transportation of nanoscopic particles including 200- and 50-nm polystyrene beads, lambda-phage DNA molecules, and quantum dots.
Date of Publication: June 2008