Thomas Lederer, Bernhard Jakoby, Wolfgang Hilber,
"An electro wetting on dielectrics - system utilizing two different dielectric layers"
: Proceedings of the 3rd European Conference on Microfluidics - Microfluidics 2012 -, Seite(n) microFlu12-15, 12-2012
An electro wetting on dielectrics - system utilizing two different dielectric layers
Sprache des Titels:
Proceedings of the 3rd European Conference on Microfluidics - Microfluidics 2012 -
Electrowetting on dielectrics is an established actuation principle in digital microfluidics. The Lippmann-Young equation describes the dependence of the contact angle to applied voltages. At high voltages the changes of the contact angle diminish and the contact angle saturates. Several theories explain that phenomenon. Amongst others, trapped charges and leak current were proposed as the mechanisms behind the contact angle saturation. In this paper, we will combine these two theories to a common one and show that leak current and dielectric breakdown causes trapped charges and leads to a deviation of the Lippmann-Young equation and to a non-constant but oscillating contact angle at increasing voltages. The thermodynamic derivation takes into account the electrostatic energy of a perfect capacitor, consisting of a
homogeneous or a layered dielectric isolation. In our contribution, we show that isolation layers consisting of real materials with non-zero conductivities and especially in the case of dielectric breakdown in one of these layers display electrostatic energies different from that of an ideal capacitor. Thus, the contribution to the surface energies changes and the wetting contact angle differs from the Lippmann-Young prediction. It turns out, that the change of the surface energy of a solid to liquid interface differs depending on the order of applied dielectric layers. This theoretic proposal, concentrates on the building of a physical model which makes predictions for both the onset of saturation and the phenomenon of contact angle oscillation. For the support of this theory, no new experiments were performed, but published EWOD experiments from several scientific groups were examined on the occurrence of contact angle oscillation in the saturation regime. Experiments for a throughout investigation of this phenomenon are proposed.