Thermophoresis: Microfluidics characterization and separation

Daniele Vigolo, Roberto Rusconi, Howard A. Stone, Roberto Piazza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

120 Scopus citations


We show that thermophoresis, i.e., mass flow driven by thermal gradients, can be used to drive particle motion in microfluidic devices exploiting suitable temperature control strategies. Due to its high sensitivity to particle/solvent interfacial properties, this method presents several advantages in terms of selectivity compared to standard particle manipulation techniques. Moreover, we show that selective driving of particles to the cold or to the hot side can be achieved by adding specific electrolytes and exploiting the additional thermoelectric effect stemming from their differential thermal responsiveness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3489-3493
Number of pages5
JournalSoft matter
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 7 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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