Soft electrowetting

Ranabir Dey, Mathijs Van Gorcum, Frieder Mugele, Jacco H. Snoeijer

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Abstract

Electrowetting is a commonly used tool to manipulate sessile drops on hydrophobic surfaces. By applying an external voltage over a liquid and a dielectric-coated surface, one achieves a reduction of the macroscopic contact angles for increasing voltage. The electrostatic forces all play out near the contact line, on a scale of the order of the thickness of the solid dielectric layer. Here we explore the case where the dielectric is a soft elastic layer, which deforms elastically under the effect of electrostatic and capillary forces. The wetting behaviour is quantified by measurements of the static and dynamic contact angles, complemented by confocal microscopy to reveal the elastic deformations. Even though the mechanics near the contact line is highly intricate, the macroscopic contact angles can be understood from global conservation laws in the spirit of Young-Lippmann. The key finding is that, while elasticity has no effect on the static electrowetting angle, the substrate's viscoelasticity completely dictates the spreading dynamics of electrowetting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6469-6475
Number of pages7
JournalSoft matter
Volume15
Issue number32
Early online date3 Jul 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Aug 2019

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Contact angle
Electrostatic force
Confocal microscopy
Viscoelasticity
Elastic deformation
Electric potential
electrostatics
Contacts (fluid mechanics)
Wetting
Electrostatics
Elasticity
elastic deformation
Conservation
viscoelasticity
Mechanics
electric potential
conservation laws
wetting
elastic properties
Liquids

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Dey, Ranabir ; Van Gorcum, Mathijs ; Mugele, Frieder ; Snoeijer, Jacco H. / Soft electrowetting. In: Soft matter. 2019 ; Vol. 15, No. 32. pp. 6469-6475.
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Dey, R, Van Gorcum, M, Mugele, F & Snoeijer, JH 2019, 'Soft electrowetting' Soft matter, vol. 15, no. 32, pp. 6469-6475. https://doi.org/10.1039/c9sm00847k

Soft electrowetting. / Dey, Ranabir; Van Gorcum, Mathijs; Mugele, Frieder; Snoeijer, Jacco H.

In: Soft matter, Vol. 15, No. 32, 28.08.2019, p. 6469-6475.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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