Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1970
Other Research Interests
- microfluidics & microTAS, the "laboratory on a chip", dielectrophoresis and electrowetting,
electromechanics of liquids and particles, industrial electrostatics, JAVA-based
interactive nomograms, electric & magnetic levitation, Levitron
The goal of our research in particle electromechanics at the
University of Rochester is to understand the nature of electrical and
magnetic interactions among particles in the 5 to 500 micrometer size
range and to improve prediction of the electromechanics of
systems of such particles. Practical implications of this work extend
from xerographic copy machines and granular beds to novel miniaturized electrode
structures for the manipulation of cells and other bioparticles. Over the years, this
has received support from NSF and NATO, plus several New York State
industrial R&D laboratories. Major research areas are listed below.
- Electromechanics of Particles
- Biological Dielectrophoresis
- The application of variable-frequency, non-uniform, electric
fields to collect, align, probe, and process biological cells, DNA, and
other bio-particles is becoming an important methodology in bio-
technology. The recent move toward using microstructures to synthesize
unique electric field configurations suitable for manipulating individual
cells has created a need to predict more accurately the electromechanical
forces and torques that make possible the new technology. Our laboratory was first to
use feedback-controlled dielectrophoretic levitation to measure the
membrane capacitance of individual cells and the dipole moments of particle
- In collaboration with Prof. M. Washizu of Tokyo University (Japan), we
developed very general methods for predicting DEP forces and torques in microelectrode structures.
- Another collaboration with Dr. N. Green (Southampton U.) and Prof. S. McAleavey (U of R) involved using numerical techniques to
calculate the effective dipole moments of irregular particles for which standard analytical solutions
are not amenable. From these effective moments, forces and torques can be estimated.
Papers on particle DEP & Levitation:
- "Shape optimization of elongated particles for maximum electrical torque" (with McAleavey and Green), IoP J. Phys. Conf. Series, vol. 142, #012057, 2008.
- "Numerical determination of the effective moments of non-spherical particles" (with Green), J. Phys. D: Applied Physics, vol. 40, pp. 78-85, 2007.
- "Size-selective deposition of particles combining liquid and particulate
dielectrophoresis," J. Appl. Phys., vol. 97, #054902, 2005. PDF download
- "Influence of scale on electrostatic forces and torques in AC particulate
electrokinetics," IEE Proc. Nanobiotech., vol. 150, pp. 39-46, 2003.
PDF file download
- "Basic theory of dielectrophoresis and electrorotation," IEEE/EMBS
Magazine, vol. 22, pp. 33-42, 2003. PDF file download
- "Electrostatics and the Lab on a Chip," Invited Plenary Lecture presented
at 2003 Institute of Physics Congress, March, 2003, Edinburgh, Scotland,
UK. Written Paper Presentation
- "Dynamics of the LevitronTM," (with R. Gans and M.
Washizu), J. Physics D: Applied
Physics, vol. 31, pp. 671-679, 1998. PDF file
- "Simple theory for the LevitronTM," (with M.
Washizu and R. Gans), Journal of Applied
Physics, vol. 82, pp. 883-888, 15 July, 1997. PDF file
Our work in the broad area of electrostatics maintains a practical focus on consulting and training in the area of
industrial electrostatic hazards
and nuisances of charged powders and liquids. From 1991 to 2003, Prof. Jones served as
Editor-in-Chief of the
Journal of Electrostatics.
- Electrostatic Hazards in Powders and Liquids
- Dust and vapor explosions ignited by electrostatic discharges are a
serious problem in the petroleum, pharmaceuticals, and plastics industries.
Even now, the nature of charge relaxation processes and their influence upon
explosion hazards are not well-understood. past research in this area has
encompassed experimental and theoretical investigations. One project focussed on
high-voltage dielectric test techniques for
inspecting the glass anti-corrosion linings on chemical reaction vessels.
- Industrial Electrostatics Demonstrations
- A web site devoted to
is maintained that covers important electrostatic phenomena
relevant to manufacturing and commercial operations. These demonstrations have the practical aim of
providing operators and manufacturing
engineers an understanding of how electrostatic phenomena can cause product quality
problems as well as serious accidents in the
polymer, pharmaceutical, film manufacturing, and petrochemical industries. More than
50 lecture demonstrations have
been presented around the world to audiences ranging from students to practicing engineers and
researchers to operating personnel and safety officers. To arrange a
lecture/demonstration, please inquire by email.
Books and Book Chapters:
- Powder Handling and Electrostatics (with J. L. King), Lewis Publishers,
Chelsea, MI, 1991. (available from CRC
Press, Boca Raton, FL) or the Electrostatics Source, Morgan Hill,
- "Electrostatics and dust explosions in powder handling," in Selected
Topics on Fluidization, Solids Handling, and Processing (W. C. Yang, ed.),
Noyes Publications, Park Ridge, NJ, pp. 817-871, 1999
Nowadays, JAVA applets implemented on the Web place very user-friendly yet powerful analysis tools into
the hands of more and more people in more and
more work settings. One such scheme is interactive nomograms, which are graphic
calculational tools that use the computer
screen and a mouse as the interface. CLICK HERE for a
practical example of an on-line nomogram used for assessing electrostatic ignition risks
in flammable atmospheres of gas, vapor, or powder.
- On-line Interactive Nomograms
Long before the advent of handheld
calculators, nomograms, which are closely related to the old-fashioned slide rule, were used
extensively by engineers to facilitate tedious design calculations. Even today, they are
still useful in situations where it is important to be able to refer to typical values
for the important parameters in practical
units for specific technical disciplines. Nomograms are commonplace in diagnostic
medicine and veterinary
HERE to examine and test an on-line nomogram generation tool.
The on-line nomogram project was made possible by grants from the Faculty
Instructional Technology Initiative Program
of the College Teaching Learning and Technology Roundtable (two grants) and the Wadsworth
C. Sykes Engineering Endowment
administered by the School of Engineering and Applied Science, both of the University of
Last modifed on
Tuesday, 17-Nov-2009 12:50:50 EST