The electromechanics of liquids

Wednesday, December 9, 2009 - 10:50am - 11:30am
EE/CS 3-180
Thomas Jones (University of Rochester)
Keywords: dielectrophoresis, electrowetting, electromechanics, microfluidics

Abstract: When subjected to electric fields, liquids exhibit a large range of dynamic and kinematic phenomena. This lecture focuses on the liquid electromechanical effects commonly exploited to dispense, move, and manipulate small liquid masses (including droplets) in microfluidic applications. Irrespective of the fine details, the net, observable force interaction very often can be predicted in terms of an appealingly simple, lumped parameter model. In particular, as long as the capacitance of a microfluidic structure can be expressed in terms of a small number of mechanical variables that adequately describe liquid displacement and distortion, then an electromechanical system model is born. Because such models can describe the important fluid behavior of insulating and conductive liquids, microfluidic schemes based on either liquid dielectrophoresis, electrowetting-on-dielectric, or a combination of the two can be treated. The lumped parameter approach avoids issues associated with volume force densities and often circumvents the need for numerical electric field computations.
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