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Self-Powered Microfluidic Transport System Based on Triboelectric Nanogenerator and Electrowetting Technique

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posted on 17.01.2018, 00:00 by Jinhui Nie, Zewei Ren, Jiajia Shao, Chaoran Deng, Liang Xu, Xiangyu Chen, Meicheng Li, Zhong Lin Wang
Electrowetting technique is an actuation method for manipulating position and velocity of fluids in the microchannels. By combining electrowetting technique and a freestanding mode triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG), we have designed a self-powered microfluidic transport system. In this system, a mini vehicle is fabricated by using four droplets to carry a pallet (6 mm × 8 mm), and it can transport some tiny object on the track electrodes under the drive of TENG. The motion of TENG can provide both driving power and control signal for the mini vehicle. The maximum load for this mini vehicle is 500 mg, and its highest controllable velocity can reach 1 m/s. Freestanding TENG has shown excellent capability to manipulate microfluid. Under the drive of TENG, the minimum volume of the droplet can reach 70–80 nL, while the tiny droplet can freely move on both horizontal and vertical planes. Finally, another strategy for delivering nanoparticles to the designated position has also been demonstrated. This proposed self-powered transport technique may have great applications in the field of microsolid/liquid manipulators, drug delivery systems, microrobotics, and human-machine interactions.

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