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14 March 2016 Assembling silver nanowires using optoelectronic tweezers
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Light patterned dielectrophoresis or optoelectronic tweezers (OET) has been proved to be an effective micromanipulation technology for cell separation, cell sorting and control of cell interactions. Apart from being useful for cell biology experiments, the capability of moving small objects accurately also makes OET an attractive technology for other micromanipulation applications. In particular, OET has the potential to be used for efficiently and accurately assembling small optoelectronic/electronic components into circuits. This approach could produce a step change in the size of the smallest components that are routinely assembled; down from the current smallest standard component size of 400×200 μm (0402 metric) to components a few microns across and even nanostructured components. In this work, we have demonstrated the use of OET to manipulate conductive silver nanowires into different patterns. The silver nanowires (typical diameter: 60 nm; typical length: 10 μm) were suspended in a 15 mS/m solution of KCL in water and manipulated by positive dielectrophoresis force generated by OET. A proof-of-concept demonstration was also made to prove the feasibility of using OET to manipulate silver nanowires to form a 150-μm-long conductive path between two isolated electrodes. It can be seen that the resistance between two electrodes was effectively brought down to around 700 Ω after the silver nanowires were assembled and the solution evaporated. Future work in this area will focus on increasing the conductivity of these tracks, encapsulating the assembled silver nanowires to prevent silver oxidation and provide mechanical protection, which can be achieved via 3D printing and inkjet printing technology.
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Shuailong Zhang, Jonathan M. Cooper, and Steve L. Neale "Assembling silver nanowires using optoelectronic tweezers", Proc. SPIE 9759, Advanced Fabrication Technologies for Micro/Nano Optics and Photonics IX, 97590S (14 March 2016);

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