Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Mechanical Engineering

Major Professor

Nathan B. Crane , Ph.D


Contact Angle, Corrosion, Impedance, Reliability, CYTOP


Electrowetting is the change in apparent surface energy in the presence of an electric field. Recently, this phenomenon has been used to control the shape and location of individual droplets on a surface. However, many microfluidics researchers have acknowledged unexplained behaviors and performance degradation. In this work, electrowetting systems are characterized with different methods. The electrowetting response is measured by measuring contact angle for different applied voltages. A novel technique for direct measurement of Electrowetting Force (EWF) using nano indenter is proposed in this work. The EWF measurements show that, for aqueous solution the EWF is more as compared to DI water. Additionally, the electrowetting system is found to be more susceptible for degradation when aqueous solution is used. The performance degradation due to defective dielectric layer is also investigated by measuring the electrowetting force. Degradation of EWOD systems with environmental exposure over time is further studied experimentally by contact angle and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) measurements. The time constant of 'contact angle decay' with environmental exposure is found to be similar to the time constant of electrolyte diffusion in dielectric layer.