Numerical modeling of microscale droplet dispensing in parallel-plate electrowetting-on-dielectric (EWOD) devices with various reservoir designs

  • Yin Guan
  • Albert Y. Tong
  • N. Y. Jagath B. Nikapitiya
  • Hyejin Moon
Research Paper


Water droplet dispensing in microfluidic parallel-plate electrowetting-on-dielectric (EWOD) devices with various reservoir designs has been numerically studied. The Navier–Stokes equations are solved using a finite-volume formulation with a two-step projection method on a fixed grid. The free surface of the liquid is tracked by a coupled level set and volume-of-fluid method with the surface tension force determined by the continuum surface force model. Contact angle hysteresis which is an indispensible element in EWOD modeling has been implemented. A simplified model is adopted for the viscous stresses exerted by the parallel plates at the solid–liquid interface. Good agreement has been achieved between the numerical results and the corresponding experimental data. The dispensing mechanism has been carefully examined, and droplet volume inconsistency for each design has been investigated. It has been discovered that the pressure distribution on the cutting electrode at the beginning of the cutting stage is of considerable significance for the inconsistency of droplet volumes. Several key elements which directly affect the pressure distribution and volume inconsistency have been identified.


EWOD Parallel plate Droplet dispensing Volume inconsistency Intercept Cutting length 



Hyejin Moon and Jagath Nikapitiya appreciate the partial support by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency/Microsystems Technology Office (DARPA/MTO) under the supervision of the program manager, Dr. Avram Bar-Cohen (Grant No. W31P4Q-11-1-0012).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical and Aerospace EngineeringUniversity of Texas at ArlingtonArlingtonUSA

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