Affordable Fabrication of Conductive Electrodes and Dielectric Films for a Paper-based Digital Microfluidic Chip

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In order to fabricate a digital microfluidic (DMF) chip, which requires a patterned array of electrodes coated with a dielectric film, we explored two simple methods: Ballpoint pen printing to generate the electrodes, and wrapping of a dielectric plastic film to coat the electrodes. For precise and programmable printing of the patterned electrodes, we used a digital plotter with a ballpoint pen filled with a silver nanoparticle (AgNP) ink. Instead of using conventional material deposition methods, such as chemical vapor deposition, printing, and spin coating, for fabricating the thin dielectric layer, we used a simple method in which we prepared a thin dielectric layer using pre-made linear, low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) plastic (17-μm thick) by simple wrapping. We then sealed it tightly with thin silicone oil layers so that it could be used as a DMF chip. Such a treated dielectric layer showed good electrowetting performance for a sessile drop without contact angle hysteresis under an applied voltage of less than 170 V. By using this straightforward fabrication method, we quickly and affordably fabricated a paper-based DMF chip and demonstrated the digital electrofluidic actuation and manipulation of drops.
Original languageEnglish
Article number109
JournalMicromachines
Volume10
Issue number2
Number of pages10
ISSN2072-666X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019
CitationsWeb of Science® Times Cited: No match on DOI

    Research areas

  • Ballpoint pen printing, Conductive electrode, Dielectric film, Digital microfluidic chip, Electrowetting, Plastic wrap
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