Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Mechanical Engineering

Major Professor

Nathan B. Crane, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Rasim Guldiken, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Craig Lusk, Ph.D.


EWOD, Lab-on-a-chip, Digitial Microfluidics, MEMS, Fluidic Actuation


Electrowetting on dielectric (EWOD) is a technique for reducing the apparent contact angle of a fluid droplet, which has many promising applications in the fields of optics, digital displays, and lab-on-a-chip research. In this thesis, a design is presented for a novel single circuit device for achieving continuous droplet motion, by using the current-rectifying properties of valve metals to create diode-like behavior. This contrasts with existing designs, which require an array of individual electrodes to achieve motion in discrete steps. We are able to demonstrate continuous droplet motion across a 28mm-long test strip with an applied voltage of 303 V and a velocity of 5.59 mm/s (at 370 V) using an ionic-fluid electrolyte (BMIM-PF6), and have achieved actuation at as low as 185 V, with a maximum observed velocity (at 300 V) of 13.8 mm/s using a 1M sodium sulfate solution.