Microfluidics(uF) is the science of manipulating and controlling the fluids usually in the range of microliters (10-6L) to picolitres (10-12L). Physical parameters, such as surface tension and contact angle do not play a significant effect on macro scale but play a crucial role at the microscopic level. Microfluidics is viewed as an essential tool for life science research and flexible electronics. A deeper understanding of physical parameters of microfluidics would result in more efficient and lower cost devices (‘Lab-on-a-Chip’ devices) and foldable electronics. In short, the concepts of microfluidics can be used to reduce the cost, size, and ease of usage in a wide variety of futuristic products. In our study we are going to explore the effects of electric fields on a particle transport in evaporating droplet and deposition patterns left behind evaporating droplets. We will be studying droplets evaporating on ‘Electrowetting on Dielectric’ (EWOD) devices where the droplet is separated from the active electrode by dielectric layers. These types of devices are relevant in a variety of applications such as medical diagnostics and optics. We believe that understanding this phenomenon will impact printing and the development of flexible electronics. This work will further the understanding of transport and deposition of particles in evaporating droplets under applied electric field by understanding the effects of particle concentrations and different dielectric layer. Previous works have demonstrated that particle transport in evaporating droplets and their resultant deposition patterns can be altered under the presence of the electric fields. Applied electric fields have potential to provide real-time control of the particle transport in evaporating droplets by allowing an instantaneous control of the contact line dynamics, electrophoretic manipulation of particles inside the droplet, changes in interface shape, dielectrophoretic manipulation and particle motion inside the droplet due to forces induced by the electric field and evaporation. Our work is going to provide a deeper insight into the effects of DC electric fields on droplets with varying particle concentrations on different dielectric layer. We will better understand the effects of changing the variables (i.e., hydrophobicity ,polarity and particle concentration) under applied DC electric field.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Electric fields; Electric currents, Direct; Microfluidics; Evaporation; Dielectric devices

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Mechanical Engineering (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

Mechanical Engineering (KGCOE)


Michael Schertzer

Advisor/Committee Member

Kara Maki

Advisor/Committee Member

Robert Stevens


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes