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Open AccessArticle

A Liquid-Metal-Based Dielectrophoretic Microdroplet Generator

by Ronghang Wang 1,2, Lunjia Zhang 1,2, Meng Gao 1, Qifu Wang 1,2, Zhongshan Deng 1,2 and Lin Gui 1,2,*
Key Laboratory of Cryogenics, Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 10019, China
School of Future Technology, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100039, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Micromachines 2019, 10(11), 769;
Received: 17 October 2019 / Revised: 4 November 2019 / Accepted: 7 November 2019 / Published: 11 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electrokinetics in Micro-/nanofluidic Devices)
This paper proposes a novel microdroplet generator based on the dielectrophoretic (DEP) force. Unlike the conventional continuous microfluidic droplet generator, this droplet generator is more like “invisible electric scissors”. It can cut the droplet off from the fluid matrix and modify droplets’ length precisely by controlling the electrodes’ length and position. These electrodes are made of liquid metal by injection. By applying a certain voltage on the liquid-metal electrodes, the electrodes generate an uneven electric field inside the main microfluidic channel. Then, the uneven electric field generates DEP force inside the fluid. The DEP force shears off part from the main matrix, in order to generate droplets. To reveal the mechanism, numerical simulations were performed to analyze the DEP force. A detailed experimental parametric study was also performed. Unlike the traditional droplet generators, the main separating force of this work is DEP force only, which can produce one droplet at a time in a more precise way. View Full-Text
Keywords: liquid-metal electrodes; dielectrophoretic (DEP) force; droplet generation liquid-metal electrodes; dielectrophoretic (DEP) force; droplet generation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wang, R.; Zhang, L.; Gao, M.; Wang, Q.; Deng, Z.; Gui, L. A Liquid-Metal-Based Dielectrophoretic Microdroplet Generator. Micromachines 2019, 10, 769.

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