Travelling-Wave Electrophoresis, Electro-Hydrodynamics, Electro-Rotation, and Symmetry-Breaking of a Polarizable Dimer in Non-Uniform Fields

Touvia Miloh*, Eldad J. Avital

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A theoretical framework is presented for calculating the polarization, electro-rotation, travelling-wave dielectrophoresis, electro-hydrodynamics and induced-charge electroosmotic flow fields around a freely suspended conducting dimer (two touching spheres) exposed to non-uniform direct current (DC) or alternating current (AC) electric fields. The analysis is based on employing the classical (linearized) Poisson–Nernst–Planck (PNP) formulation under the standard linearized ‘weak-field’ assumption and using the tangent-sphere coordinate system. Explicit expressions are first derived for the axisymmetric AC electric potential governed by the Robin (mixed) boundary condition applied on the dimer surface depending on the resistance–capacitance circuit (RC) forcing frequency. Dimer electro-rotation due to two orthogonal (out-of-phase) uniform AC fields and the corresponding mobility problem of a polarizable dimer exposed to a travelling-wave electric excitation are also analyzed. We present an explicit solution for the non-linear induced-charge electroosmotic (ICEO) flow problem of a free polarized dimer in terms of the corresponding Stokes stream function determined by the Helmholtz–Smoluchowski velocity slip. Next, we demonstrate how the same framework can be used to obtain an exact solution for the electro-hydrodynamic (EHD) problem of a polarizable sphere lying next to a conducting planar electrode. Finally, we present a new solution for the induced-charge mobility of a Janus dimer composed of two fused spherical colloids, one perfectly conducting and one dielectrically coated. So far, most of the available electrokinetic theoretical studies involving polarizable nano/micro shapes dealt with convex configurations (e.g., spheres, spheroids, ellipsoids) and as such the newly obtained electrostatic AC solution for a dimer provides a useful extension for similar concave colloids and engineered particles.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1173
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2022


  • Janus mobility
  • dimer (touching spheres)
  • electro-hydrodynamics
  • electro-rotation
  • electrophoresis
  • induced-charge electroosmosis
  • polarization
  • tangent-sphere coordinates
  • travelling wave


Dive into the research topics of 'Travelling-Wave Electrophoresis, Electro-Hydrodynamics, Electro-Rotation, and Symmetry-Breaking of a Polarizable Dimer in Non-Uniform Fields'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this