Manipulating Liquid Metal Droplets in Microfluidic Channels With Minimized Skin Residues Toward Tunable RF Applications Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • © 1992-2012 IEEE. 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<4 dB and OFF with a loss of <18 dB over the frequency range between 4 and 15 GHz. [2014-0228]

altmetric score

  • 6

author list (cited authors)

  • Koo, C., LeBlanc, B. E., Kelley, M., Fitzgerald, H. E., Huff, G. H., & Han, A.

citation count

  • 46

publication date

  • July 2015