Electrowetting-driven oscillating drops sandwiched between two substrates

Dileep Mampallil, H. Burak Eral, Adrian Staicu, Frieder G. Mugele, Dirk van den Ende

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)
180 Downloads (Pure)


Drops sandwiched between two substrates are often found in lab-on-chip devices based on digital microfluidics. We excite azimuthal oscillations of such drops by periodically modulating the contact line via ac electrowetting. By tuning the frequency of the applied voltage, several shape modes can be selected one by one. The frequency of the oscillations is half the frequency of the contact angle modulation by electrowetting, indicating a parametric excitation. The drop response to sinusoidal driving deviates substantially from sinusoidal behavior in a “stop and go” fashion. Although our simple theoretical model describes the observed behavior qualitatively, the resonances appear at lower frequencies than expected. Moreover, the oscillations produce a nonperiodic fluid transport within the drop with a typical velocity of 1 mm/s. In digital microfluidic devices, where the typical drop size is less than 1 mm, this flow can result in very fast mixing on the spot.
Original languageEnglish
Article number053015
Number of pages8
JournalPhysical review E: Statistical, nonlinear, and soft matter physics
Issue number053015
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • METIS-300595
  • IR-88586


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