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Polymers 2018, 10(10), 1119; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10101119

Multiscale Interface Effect on Homogeneous Dielectric Structure of ZrO2/Teflon Nanocomposite for Electrowetting Application

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1,2,* , 1,2
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1
Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Optical Information Materials and Technology & Institute of Electronic Paper Displays, South China Academy of Advanced Optoelectronics, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510006, China
2
National Center for International Research on Green Optoelectronics, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510006, China
3
Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science and Arts and Promising Centre for Sensors and Electronic Devices, Najran University, Najran 11001, Saudi Arabia
4
Shenzhen Guohua Optoelectronics Tech. Co. Ltd., Shenzhen 518110, China
5
Academy of Shenzhen Guohua Optoelectronics, Shenzhen 518110, China
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 September 2018 / Revised: 28 September 2018 / Accepted: 2 October 2018 / Published: 9 October 2018
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Abstract

Electrowetting-on-dielectric is a preferred option in practical applications of the electrowetting phenomenon but limited by dielectric and breakdown performances of the dielectric layer. In the present work, a ceramic/polymer nanocomposite as a novel dielectric layer is developed to intensify the overall electrowetting performances by multiscale interface effect. Hereinto, surface fluoro-modified ZrO2 nanoparticles (mZrO2) are dispersed well in AF 1600 matrix to form a mZrO2@AF 1600 nanocomposite. The small addition of mZrO2 improves the dielectric constant of the nanocomposite, and the experimental value is larger than the theoretical value calculated by Maxwell–Garnett model, but fits well with the Rahaman–Khastgir model. The molecular dynamics simulations with the explicit model further verify the interfacial effect. Meanwhile, double contact angle modulation and higher breakdown field strength (Eb) are obtained. For the three-layer sandwich structure, both the top and bottom AF 1600 layer decrease the surface roughness for better electrowetting reproducibility and wider wettability modulation. The Forlani–Minnaja theory related to the empirical relationship between Eb and thickness of dielectric layer fit well with the monolayer structure, but cannot be applied in multi-layer structures. A new relationship is proposed to guide the design of dielectric multi-layers with high breakdown field strength. View Full-Text
Keywords: electrowetting; dielectric layer; interface effect; ZrO2 nanoparticles; Teflon electrowetting; dielectric layer; interface effect; ZrO2 nanoparticles; Teflon
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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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Hou, J.; Feng, Y.; Liao, J.; Ding, W.; Shui, L.; Li, H.; Wang, Y.; Tang, B.; Umar, A.; Zhou, G. Multiscale Interface Effect on Homogeneous Dielectric Structure of ZrO2/Teflon Nanocomposite for Electrowetting Application. Polymers 2018, 10, 1119.

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