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A control method for steering individual particles inside liquid droplets actuated by electrowetting



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TECHNICAL NOTE www rsc org loc Lab on a Chip A control method for steering individual particles inside liquid droplets actuated by electrowetting Shawn Walker a and Benjamin Shapirob Received 20th September 2005 Accepted 10th October 2005 First published as an Advance Article on the web 27th October 2005 DOI 10 1039 b513373b An algorithm is developed that allows steering of individual particles inside electrowetting systems by control of actuators already present in these systems Particles are steered by creating time varying flow fields that carry the particles along their desired trajectories Results are demonstrated using an experimentally validated model developed in ref 1 We show that the current UCLA electro wetting on dielectric EWOD system2 contains enough control authority to steer a single particle along arbitrary trajectories and to steer two particles at once along simple paths Particle steering is limited by contact angle saturation and by the small number of actuators that are available to actuate the flow in practical electrowetting systems Introduction In this paper we demonstrate the possibility of using the available electrodes in an electro wetting on dielectric EWOD device to actuate a single droplet in such a way that the resulting fluid flow inside the drop will carry a particle around a figure 8 path or carry two particles along separating trajectories Steering particles inside droplets introduces another level of functionality into electro wetting systems For example cells can be precisely placed over local sensors or moved from one location to another at rates much faster than those created by diffusion see Fig 1 In addition particles can be sorted inside a droplet and then separated by controlled splitting of the droplet Our steering results are demonstrated using an experimentally validated numerical model1 of droplet motion inside a Aerospace Engineering Research Assistant University of Maryland at College Park MD 20852 USA E mail swalker



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