College - Author 1

College of Engineering

Department - Author 1

Electrical Engineering Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BS in Electrical Engineering



Primary Advisor

Benjamin G. Hawkins, College of Engineering, Electrical Engineering Department


The electrowetting effect describes the change in contact angle between a solid surface and electrolyte in response to an applied electric potential difference. Given a planar array of individually-actuated electrodes, electrowetting can be used to transport, mix, and separate picoliter to microliter-sized droplets of liquid on a dielectric layer. Applications of this phenomenon range from lab-on-a-chip and other microfluidic devices to liquid lenses capable of altering their topology and focus within milliseconds.

This project extends prior work simulating the dependence of droplet velocity on actuation voltage and demonstrates observed physics on a physical platform. The simulation portion of this project models the electrowetting effect and attempts to recapitulate experimental observations by comparing the Young-Lippman model to one derived from general electromagnetic forces on the droplet. In conjunction, it fabricates and verifies the function of a physical device for conducting these tests. In doing so, this project provides Cal Poly with a functional and well-tested digital microfluidics platform for biology and other research.

Included in

Biomedical Commons