Investigation of the Effect of Geometric Parameters on EWOD-Actuation in Rectangular Microchannels

[+] Author and Article Information
Sajad Pooyan

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran

Mohammad Passandideh-Fard

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4039512 History: Received November 02, 2017; Revised February 20, 2018


Efficient actuation of liquid slugs in microfluidic circuits is a matter of interest in droplet-base microfluidic applications. In this paper, the Electrowetting On Dielectric (EWOD) actuation of a liquid slug fully confined in a microchannel is studied. A set of experiments are conducted in which the mean transport velocity of a liquid slug enclosed in a microchannel of rectangular cross section and actuated by EWOD method is measured. A PCB-based microfluidic chip is used as the platform, and the transport velocity of the slug is measured by processing the images recorded by a high-speed camera while the slug moves in the channel. To investigate the effect of microchannel geometry on the mean transport velocity of the slugs, different channel heights and widths (ranging between 250-440 µm and 1-2 mm, respectively) as well as different liquid volumes (ranging between 2.94-5.15 µL) are tested and slug velocities up to 14.9 mm/s are achieved. A theoretical model is also developed to analyze the effect of involved parameters on the transport velocity. The results show that, within the range of design parameters considered in this study, for a constant slug volume and channel width, increasing the channel height enhances the velocity. Moreover, keeping the slug volume and channel height fixed, the transport velocity is increased by enlarging the channel width. An inverse proportionality between the slug length and velocity is also observed. These results are also shown to agree with the theoretical model developed.

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