We developed electrostatic system for manipulating small particles with diameters in the range of several micrometers to 100 μm. The electrostatic manipulation probe consists of a monopole pin electrode. When voltage is applied to the electrode, a dielectrophoresis force generated in the nonuniform electrostatic field is applied to the particle near the tip of the electrode. The particle is captured with the application of voltage, and then it is released from the probe by applying a high voltage of the opposite polarity. It is possible to manipulate not only insulative but also weakly conductive particles. A three-dimensional field calculation and a measurement of the adhesion force were conducted to evaluate the force balance for the capture and release of a particle. On the basis of these investigations, we demonstrated the manipulation of actual lunar dust returned by the Apollo 11 lunar surface mission.
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