Work on electrowetting-on-dielectric MEMS stage published in APL
Jan 5, 2017

A MEMS vertical translation, or focusing, stage that uses electrowetting-on-dielectric (EWOD) as the actuating mechanism was developed. EWOD has the potential to eliminate solid-solid contact by actuating through deformation of liquid droplets placed between the stage and base to achieve stage displacement. Our EWOD stage is capable of linear spatial manipulation with resolution of 10 μm over a maximum range of 130 μm and angular deflection of approximately ±1°, comparable to piezoelectric actuators. We also developed a model that suggests a higher intrinsic contact angle on the EWOD surface can further improve the translational range, which was validated experimentally by comparing different surface coatings. The capability to operate the stage without solid-solid contact offers potential improvements for applications in micro-optics, actuators, and other MEMS devices. The work was featured on The Engineer as well as on MIT News. Read more