, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 449-460

Dielectric materials for electrowetting-on-dielectric actuation

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The fundamental building blocks of typical electrowetting-on-dielectric (EWOD) actuation and their importance in the EWOD mechanism are introduced and reviewed, respectively. The emphasis in this experimental study of EWOD is on dielectric materials, upon which the performance of EWOD devices is heavily dependent. Dielectric breakdown of several typical polymeric and inorganic insulators employed as dielectrics for EWOD has been analytically investigated, which is forced to occur between the electrodes and conductive liquids under certain threshold potential. The electric breakdown occurring in both dielectric layer and surrounding medium (air or silicon oil) has been studied to build up a mathematical model of breakdown voltage as a function of dielectric thickness. Contact angle measurement of some polymeric materials and self-assembled monolayer using pure water has been carried out to demonstrate the contact angle tunability and reversibility, respectively, upon EWOD actuation.