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Simplified Ground-type Single-plate Electrowetting Device for Droplet Transport

  • Received : 2010.11.19
  • Accepted : 2011.03.31
  • Published : 2011.05.02

Abstract

The current paper describes a simpler ground-type, single-plate electrowetting configuration for droplet transport in digital microfluidics without performance degradation. The simplified fabrication process is achieved with two photolithography steps. The first step simultaneously patterns both a control electrode array and a reference electrode on a substrate. The second step patterns a dielectric layer at the top to expose the reference electrode for grounding the liquid droplet. In the experiment, a $5{\mu}m$ thick photo-imageable polyimide, with a 3.3 dielectric constant, is used as the dielectric layer. A 10 nm Teflon-AF is coated to obtain a hydrophobic surface with a high water advancing angle of $116^{\circ}$ and a small contact angle hysteresis of $5^{\circ}$. The droplet movement of 1 mM methylene blue on this simplified device is successfully demonstrated at control voltages above the required 45 V to overcome the contact angle hysteresis.

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