Buckling of Dielectric Elastomeric Plates for Soft, Electrically Active Microfluidic Pumps
Stone, Howard A.
Aksay, Ilhan A.
Holmes, Douglas P.
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Elastic instabilities, when properly implemented within soft, mechanical structures, can generate advanced functionality. In this work, we use the voltage-induced buckling of thin, flexible plates to pump fluids within a microfluidic channel. The soft electrodes that enable electrical actuation are compatible with fluids, and undergo large, reversible deformations. We quantified the onset of voltage-induced buckling, and measured the flow rate within the microchannel. This embeddable, flexible microfluidic pump will aid in the generation of new stand-alone microfluidic devices that require a tunable flow rate.