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Published July 28, 2003 | public
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Thermocapillary actuation of liquids using patterned microheater arrays


We demonstrate a microfluidic actuation technique capable of directing nanoliter liquid samples on the surface of a glass substrate through the use of both electronically addressable heater arrays and chemical patterning. Pathways for liquid movement are delineated by the arrangement of microheaters, which also provide the thermocapillary actuating force. The drops are confined by selectively depositing a fluorinated monolayer to the surface, which defines the channel edges. Operating voltages in the range of 2-3V were used to move, split, and trap liquids. This fluid transportation technique enables direct access to liquid samples for handling and diagnostic purposes and offers a low power alternative to existing microfluidic systems.

Additional Information

© Copyright 2003 IEEE. Reprinted with permission. This work is funded by NSF grant CTS-0088774, MRSEC grant DMR-9809483, and a NJCST grant.


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