Electrowetting is a technique for manipulating fluids on the micro-scale. By applying voltages at actuating electrodes, it is possible to (effectively) modify surface tension properties, and to move, split, merge, and mix liquid packets. Applications of electrowetting include re-programmable lab-on-a-chip systems, auto-focus cell phone lenses, and colored oil pixels for laptops and video-speed smart paper.
The PIs will develop experimentally validated models that will predict electrowetting dynamics first in two, then in three, spatial dimensions, which will enable next-generation system analysis, design, and control. The models will include the essential bulk-flow physics: surface tension, low-Reynolds fluid dynamics, electrostatics or electrodynamics, as well as critical loss-phenomena such as contact angle saturation and hysteresis.
Simulating the Dynamics of Electrowetting: Modeling, Numerics, and Validation is a four-year, $310K grant.