Paul trapping of charged particles in aqueous solution

Weihua Guan, Sony Joseph, Jae Hyun Park, Predrag S. Krstić, Mark A. Reed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


We experimentally demonstrate the feasibility of an aqueous Paul trap using a proof-of-principle planar device. Radio frequency voltages are used to generate an alternating focusing/defocusing potential well in two orthogonal directions. Individual charged particles are dynamically confined into nanometer scale in space. Compared with conventional Paul traps working in frictionless vacuum, the aqueous environment associated with damping forces and thermally induced fluctuations (Brownian noise) exerts a fundamental influence on the underlying physics. We investigate the impact of these two effects on the confining dynamics, with the aim to reduce the rms value of the positional fluctuations. We find that the rms fluctuations can be modulated by adjusting the voltages and frequencies. This technique provides an alternative for the localization and control of charged particles in an aqueous environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9326-9330
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number23
StatePublished - Jun 7 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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