Programmable droplet actuating platform using liquid dielectrophoresis

Iman Frozanpoor*, Michael Cooke, Zoltán Rácz, Ian Bossons, Vibin Ambukan, David Wood, Andrew Gallant, Claudio Balocco

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
51 Downloads (Pure)


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.
Original languageEnglish
Article number055014
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Micromechanics and Microengineering
Issue number5
Early online date20 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2021


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