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Programmable droplet actuating platform using liquid dielectrophoresis

Frozanpoor, Iman and Cooke, Michael and Racz, Zoltan and Bossons, Ian and Ambukan, Vibin and Wood, David and Gallant, Andrew and Balocco, Claudio (2021) 'Programmable droplet actuating platform using liquid dielectrophoresis.', Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering, 31 (5). 055014.


Droplet motion has been a long-standing interest in microfluidics as it is often limited by the high operating voltages, which hampers the development of consumer applications. Forces generated by liquid dielectrophoresis (L-DEP) can enhance surface wetting, without requiring chemical modification or surface texturing. This work presents a droplet actuating platform to control the wetting behaviour of water droplets using L-DEP. The exploitation of high electric fields at the droplet solid–liquid interface reduced the operating voltages. The operating voltage can be further reduced, to as low as 30 V, by introducing a lubricant layer to minimise the droplet contact angle hysteresis, thus requiring a smaller L-DEP bulk force. The outcomes of this study will provide a new pathway for developing energy-efficient and reliable droplet actuating platforms to clean a variety of surfaces. A particular interest will be the application of this system in the automobile sector, for instance, to clean headlamps, sensors, cameras, door mirrors, front side glass, and rear screen.

Item Type:Article
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Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution 3.0.
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Publisher statement:Original content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI.
Date accepted:18 March 2021
Date deposited:08 September 2021
Date of first online publication:20 April 2021
Date first made open access:08 September 2021

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