Date of Award

Summer 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Lee, Chung Hoon

Second Advisor

Richie, James

Third Advisor

Medeiros, Henry


Dielectrophoresis is an extensively used technique in the field of biomedical science that manipulates particles in a non-uniform electric field. One of its drawbacks is heat dissipation during the DEP operation that raises the local temperature of the DEP device. Temperature increases during dielectrophoresis (DEP) can affect the response of biological entities and ignoring the effect can mislead the result of the analysis. The heating mechanism of a DEP device is typically considered to be the result of Joule heating as bare electrodes are used in a conductive solution. However, when electrodes are insulated from the solution the presence of heat is overlooked without appropriate analysis. The measurement of the local temperature of a microdevice is a complex task. A temperature increase between interdigitated electrodes (IDEs) in presence of DI solution has been measured with an integrated micro temperature sensor between IDEs to be as high as 9 °C at 1.5 MHz with a 26 Vpp applied voltage to our ultra-low thermal mass DEP device. Our experiment and analysis indicate that the heating mechanism in insulated DEP electrodes is due to the dielectric loss (Debye relaxation). The analytical result of the power dissipation due to the dielectric loss is in good agreement with the experiment data.

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Engineering Commons