By applying a stepwise overlimiting voltage to a nanoslot system in equilibrium, it is possible to follow the time evolution of the electroconvective instability vortex array via the depletion dynamics or, alternatively, by following dielectrophoretically trapped particles at the stagnation points of each of the hydrodynamic vortex pairs. Particles are advected to the stagnation point by the hydrodynamics, where they are trapped by a short-range dielectrophoretic force. It is experimentally confirmed that the wavelength selection process occurs at the diffusive time scale and that the wavelength selection mechanism, started by the Rubinstein and Zaltzman electroconvective instability is eventually determined by the system lateral geometry and dictated by Dukhin's electro-osmosis of the second kind. The steady-state case was numerically studied by solving the fully coupled electroconvective problem, confirming that the vortex stagnation point is indeed of a converging type. The particle's planar (two-dimensional) equations of motion are solved after adding a dielectrophoretic force that accounts for quasi-three-dimensional effects. It is shown that this force can account for trapping at the nanoslot interface.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
- Statistics and Probability
- Condensed Matter Physics