Anisotropic composites using dielectrophoresis
We are currently formulating a method for creating precision self-assembled nano- and micro-structured materials using nanoparticle dielectrophoresis. Two classes of materials result from this process: 1) composites having anisotropic electrical conductivity and thermal transport properties and 2) structures with embedded microvasculature. Self-assembly of connections between components and substrates without the need for precision alignment may have significant impact on sensor and display production technologies. Creation of microvasculature using the proposed nanoparticle self-assembly method could allow point-of-use fabrication of microchemical processes in situations of limited resources such as on the battlefield or in space.
The following image is an example of micron-sized wires formed from a suspension of submicron-sized particles.