Thermophoretic micron-scale devices: Practical approach and review

Namkyu Lee, Simone Wiegand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In recent years, there has been increasing interest in the development of micron-scale devices utilizing thermal gradients to manipulate molecules and colloids, and to measure their thermophoretic properties quantitatively. Various devices have been realized, such as on-chip implements, micro-thermogravitational columns and other micron-scale thermophoretic cells. The advantage of the miniaturized devices lies in the reduced sample volume. Often, a direct observation of particles using various microscopic techniques is possible. On the other hand, the small dimensions lead to some technical problems, such as a precise temperature measurement on small length scale with high spatial resolution. In this review, we will focus on the "state of the art" thermophoretic micron-scale devices, covering various aspects such as generating temperature gradients, temperature measurement, and the analysis of the current micron-scale devices. We want to give researchers an orientation for their development of thermophoretic micron-scale devices for biological, chemical, analytical, and medical applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number950
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Sept

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea(NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education(2019R1A6A3A03033316). We thank Dzmitry Afanasenkau, Werner Köhler and Shawn Putnam for fruitful discussions. We are grateful to Jan Dhont for inspiring ideas and his generous support of our work. Further we are grateful to Amirreza Gholivand, Hartmut Kriegs, Donghwi Lee and Shilpa Mohanakumar for careful correction reading and enlightening discussions.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Information Systems
  • Mathematical Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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