Buckling of Dielectric Elastomeric Plates for Soft, Electrically Active Microfluidic Pumps

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The Royal Society of Chemistry

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.

Elastic instabilities, Microfluidic technology, Nanofluidics, Biomedical fluidic devices, Digital microfluidics
Tavakol, B., Bozlar, M., Punckt, C., Froehlicher, G., Stone, H. A., Aksay, I. A., & Holmes, D. P. (2014). Buckling of dielectric elastomeric plates for soft, electrically active microfluidic pumps. Soft Matter, 10(27), 4789-4794. doi: 10.1039/C4SM00753K