Droplet Velocity in an Electrowetting on Dielectric Digital Microfluidic Device



In many electrowetting on dielectric (EWOD) based microfluidics devices, droplet actuation speed is a crucial performance-controlling parameter. Our present study aims to characterize and study droplet speed in a typical EWOD device. First, a practical droplet speed measurement method has been methodically demonstrated and some related velocity terms have been introduced. Next, influence of electrode shape on droplet speed has been studied and a new design to enhance droplet speed has been proposed and experimentally demonstrated. Instead of using square shaped electrodes, rectangular electrodes with smaller widths are used to actuate droplets. Additionally, different schemes of activating electrodes are studied and compared for the same applied voltage. The experiments show that a particular scheme of activating the array of rectangular electrodes enhances the droplet speed up to 100% in comparison to the droplet speed in a conventional device with square shaped electrodes.


Includes supplementary material


Microfluidics, Drops, Wetting, Electrodes, Velocity measurement, Dielectrics


Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency/Microsystems Technology Office (DARPA/MTO) (grant no. W31P4Q-11-1-0012) and National Science Foundation (grant no. ECCS-1254602)


CC BY 4.0 (Attribution), ©2016 The Authors. All Rights Reserved.