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Analysis of forces for micromanipulations in dry and liquid media

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During microscale object manipulation, contact (pull-off) forces and non-contact (capillary, van der Waals and electrostatic) forces determine the behaviour of the micro-objects rather than the inertial forces. The aim of this article is to give an experimental analysis of the physical phenomena at a microscopic scale in dry and liquid media. This article introduces a review of the major differences between dry and submerged micromanipulations. The theoretical influences of the medium on van der Waals forces, electrostatic forces, pull-off forces and hydrodynamic forces are presented. Experimental force measurements based on an AFM system are carried out. These experiments exhibit a correlation better than 40% between the theoretical forces and the measured forces (except for pull-off in water). Finally, some comparative experimental micromanipulation results are described and show the advantages of the liquid medium.


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