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Micromachines 2019, 10(2), 109; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi10020109

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

1
Department of Chemistry, Institute of Biological Interfaces, Sogang University, Seoul 04107, Korea
2
Department of Chemical Engineering, The Cooper Union for Advancement of Science and Art, New York, NY 10003, USA
3
Department of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science, Technical University of Denmark, 2800 Lyngby, Denmark
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 January 2019 / Revised: 2 February 2019 / Accepted: 3 February 2019 / Published: 7 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro- and Nanofluidics for Bionanoparticle Analysis)
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Abstract

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. View Full-Text
Keywords: dielectric film; plastic wrap; ballpoint pen printing; conductive electrode; digital microfluidic chip; electrowetting dielectric film; plastic wrap; ballpoint pen printing; conductive electrode; digital microfluidic chip; electrowetting
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Soum, V.; Kim, Y.; Park, S.; Chuong, M.; Ryu, S.R.; Lee, S.H.; Tanev, G.; Madsen, J.; Kwon, O.-S.; Shin, K. Affordable Fabrication of Conductive Electrodes and Dielectric Films for a Paper-Based Digital Microfluidic Chip. Micromachines 2019, 10, 109.

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