American Chemical Society
la0c01161_si_006.mp4 (7.95 MB)

Actuation of a Nonconductive Droplet in an Aqueous Fluid by Reversed Electrowetting Effect

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posted on 2020-07-07, 14:36 authored by Qinggong Wang, Meng Xu, Chao Wang, Junping Gu, Nan Hu, Junfu Lyu, Wei Yao
Manipulation of a conductive droplet by electrowetting has been a popular topic in microfluidics whereby wettability of the droplet on a solid surface is increased by applying a voltage between the conductive droplet and the insulated surface. However, the opposite phenomenon, e.g., decreasing the wettability of a nonconductive droplet and increasing its contact angle (CA) by the reversed electrowetting (REW) effect, has been scarcely reported. Such a process involves not only the transient dynamics of droplet dewetting but also a critical condition for droplet detachment from the adhesive surface. In this work, actuation of a nonconductive droplet in an aqueous surrounding fluid by REW is studied experimentally. Silicone oil is used for the actuated droplet, and filtered water is used as the surrounding fluid. The solid substrate is made of a glass substrate coated with an indium tin oxide (ITO) film and then deposited by a dielectric layer of Parylene C. Potential difference is applied between the substrate and the surrounding fluid, eliminating the disturbance from the top needle on the motion of the droplet. Three different regimes are identified in the full range of operation. An underactuated regime occurs at low applied voltages, in which the CA of the droplet shows a monotonic increase with the increase of voltage (V). The friction coefficient of the contact line decreases with V before the CA saturation (Vs) but shows little change when V > Vs. At high voltages, the contact line of the sessile droplet is contracted excessively by REW. The droplet shows oscillation, and it refers to the overactuated regime. A combined time scale is proposed, and it verifies that the viscous dissipation of the contact line and liquid inertia show comparable contributions in the droplet dynamics. At sufficiently high voltages, the droplet is rejected completely from the surface. A critical equation for the threshold voltage of droplet detachment is built, and its validity is confirmed by experimental results.