Capacitive sensing of droplets for microfluidic devices based on thermocapillary actuation

J.-Z. Chen, A.A. Darhuber, S.M. Troian, S. Wagner

    Onderzoeksoutput: Bijdrage aan tijdschriftTijdschriftartikelAcademicpeer review

    80 Citaten (Scopus)
    2 Downloads (Pure)


    The design and performance of a miniaturized coplanar capacitive sensor is presented whose electrode arrays can also function as resistive microheaters for thermocapillary actuation of liquid films and droplets. Optimal compromise between large capacitive signal and high spatial resolution is obtained for electrode widths comparable to the liquid film thickness measured, in agreement with supporting numerical simulations which include mutual capacitance effects. An interdigitated, variable width design, allowing for wider central electrodes, increases the capacitive signal for liquid structures with non-uniform height profiles. The capacitive resolution and time response of the current design is approximately 0.03 pF and 10 ms, respectively, which makes possible a number of sensing functions for nanoliter droplets. These include detection of droplet position, size, composition or percentage water uptake for hygroscopic liquids. Its rapid response time allows measurements of the rate of mass loss in evaporating droplets.
    Originele taal-2Engels
    Pagina's (van-tot)473-480
    Aantal pagina's8
    TijdschriftLab on a Chip
    Nummer van het tijdschrift5
    StatusGepubliceerd - 2004

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