Manipulating Liquid Metal Droplets in Microfluidic Channels with Minimized Skin Residues Toward Tunable RF Applications

C. Koo, B.E. Leblanc, M. Kelley, H.E. Fitzgerald, G.H. Huff, A. Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

47 Scopus citations

Abstract

A nontoxic liquid metal, such as eutectic gallium-indium (EGaIn) alloy, has been used to develop tunable radio frequency (RF) components, such as antennas, inductors, or capacitors, for enabling large tunable range, better linearity, and low loss, using fluidic displacement of the liquid metal. However, EGaIn residue, due to its fast oxidation, limits multiple movement of the EGaIn in the reconfigurable RF components. This paper focuses on the use of surfactants, carrier liquids, and microchannel coating materials that minimize EGaIn fragmentation and EGaIn residues on poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS)-based microfluidic channels during repeated actuation of an EGaIn plug. Using a combination of carrier liquids and microchannel coating materials to minimize EGaIn from leaving residues on the PDMS microfluidic channel, a microstrip transmission line switch as a proof-of-concept reconfigurable RF application using the EGaIn plug is demonstrated. It is switched ON
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1069-1076
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Microelectromechanical Systems
Volume24
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

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