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Voltage-induced buckling of dielectric films using fluid electrodes

Douglas P Holmes's picture

B. Tavakol and D.P. Holmes, Appl. Phys. Lett.108, 112901, (2016).

Abstract: Accurate and integrable control of different flows within microfluidic channels is crucial for further development of lab-on-a-chip and fully integrated adaptable structures. Here, we introduce a flexible microactuator that buckles at a high deformation rate and alters the downstream fluid flow. The microactuator consists of a confined, thin, dielectric film that buckles into the microfluidic channel when exposed to voltage supplied through conductive fluid electrodes. We estimate the critical buckling voltage and characterize the buckled shape of the actuator. Finally, we investigate the effects of frequency, flow rate, and pressure differences on the behavior of the buckling structure and the resulting fluid flow. These results demonstrate that the voltage-induced buckling of embedded microstructures using fluid electrodes provides a means for high speed, repeatable attenuation of microfluidic flow.




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