Fluid Control in Multichannel Structures by Electrocapillary Pressure

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Science  12 Jan 2001:
Vol. 291, Issue 5502, pp. 277-280
DOI: 10.1126/science.291.5502.277

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We demonstrate control of fluid motion in three-dimensional structures with thousands of microchannels. Fluids are manipulated via an electrocapillary pressure, originating from electrostatic control of the solid/fluid interfacial tension in the microchannels. Reversible fluid displacement has been achieved for all channel orientations with respect to gravity. The velocities of several centimeters per second are nearly two orders of magnitude higher than the velocities demonstrated by other electrofluidic actuation principles.

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