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Field enhancement in microfluidic semiconductor nanowire array

Shenoy, BM and Hegde, G and Roy Mahapatra, D (2020) Field enhancement in microfluidic semiconductor nanowire array. In: Biomicrofluidics, 14 (6).

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0028899


Nano-material integrated microfluidic platforms are increasingly being considered to accelerate biological sample preparation and molecular diagnostics. A major challenge in this context is the generation of high electric fields for electroporation of cell membranes. In this paper, we have studied a novel mechanism of generating a high electric field in the microfluidic channels by using an array of semiconductor nanowires. When an electrostatic field is applied across a semiconductor nanowire array, the electric field is localized near the nanowires and the field strength is higher than what was reported previously with various other micro-geometries. Nanowires made of ZnO, Si, and Si-SiO2 and their orientation and array spacing are considered design parameters. It is observed that for a given ratio of the spacing between nanowires to the diameter, the electric field enhancement near the edges of ZnO nanowires is nearly 30 times higher compared to Si or Si-SiO2 nanowire arrays. This enhancement is a combined effect of the unique geometry with a pointed tip with a hexagonal cross section, the piezoelectric and the spontaneous polarization in the ZnO nanowires, and the electro-kinetics of the interface fluid. Considering the field localization phenomena, the trajectories of E. coli cells in the channel are analyzed. For a given inter-nanowire spacing and an applied electric field, the channels with ZnO nanowire arrays have a greater probability of cell lysis in comparison to Si-based nanowire arrays. Detailed correlations between the cell lysis probability with the inter-nanowire spacing and the applied electric field are reported. © 2020 Author(s).

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Biomicrofluidics
Publisher: American Institute of Physics Inc.
Additional Information: The copyright for this article belongs to The Authors.
Keywords: Cells; Cytology; Electric fields; Electroporation; Escherichia coli; II-VI semiconductors; Microfluidics; Oxide minerals; Silica; Silicon; Wide band gap semiconductors; Zinc oxide, Biological sample preparation; Electric field enhancement; Hexagonal cross-sections; High electric fields; Integrated microfluidics; Molecular diagnostics; Semiconductor nanowire; Spontaneous polarizations, Nanowires
Department/Centre: Division of Interdisciplinary Sciences > Centre for Biosystems Science and Engineering
Division of Mechanical Sciences > Aerospace Engineering(Formerly Aeronautical Engineering)
Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2023 04:37
Last Modified: 11 Jan 2023 04:37
URI: https://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/79029

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