Electrostatic tweezer for droplet manipulation

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2105459119
Journal / PublicationProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number2
Online published6 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jan 2022



Various physical tweezers for manipulating liquid droplets based on optical, electrical, magnetic, acoustic, or other external fields have emerged and revolutionized research and application in medical, biological, and environmental fields. Despite notable progress, the existing modalities for droplet control and manipulation are still limited by the extra responsive additives and relatively poor controllability in terms of droplet motion behaviors, such as distance, velocity, and direction. Herein, we report a versatile droplet electrostatic tweezer (DEST) for remotely and programmatically trapping or guiding the liquid droplets under diverse conditions, such as in open and closed spaces and on flat and tilted surfaces as well as in oil medium. DEST, leveraging on the coulomb attraction force resulting from its electrostatic induction to a droplet, could manipulate droplets of various compositions, volumes, and arrays on various substrates, offering a potential platform for a series of applications, such as high-throughput surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy detection with single measuring time less than 20 s.

Research Area(s)

  • Droplet manipulation, Electrostatic induction, SERS, Tweezer

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