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Demonstration of Continuous Electrowetting Actuation

[+] Author Affiliations
Corey M. Lynch, Mehdi Khodayari, Alex A. Volinsky, Nathan B. Crane

University of South Florida, Tampa, FL

Paper No. IMECE2010-40060, pp. 837-841; 5 pages
  • ASME 2010 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 10: Micro and Nano Systems
  • Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, November 12–18, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4447-2
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME


Electrowetting is the change in apparent surface energy of a liquid in an applied electric field. It has shown great promise in diverse applications including lab-on-a-chip and electronic displays. The electrowetting response is typically considered independent of the actuation voltage polarity. This paper describes a new approach that achiees actuation in different directions for positive and negative voltage polarities using the electrochemical characteristics of aluminum electrodes. This paper presents a concept for continuous actuation of a droplet using a single electrode and DC voltage based on this effect. Initial experiments demonstrate that droplet motion is possible. Measurements of voltage drop across aluminum electrodes confirms the polarity-dependent response of the electrodes.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME



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