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Electrowetting


In 1984, Cytonix built devices for micro-manipulation of chemical and biological fluids by optically or electromagnetically controlling the surface energy of hydrophobic surfaces using electrodes and optics. Electro-wetting was used on a microscopic scale to load channels and reservoirs, direct the flow of fluids and move packets of liquid along directed paths. This work was partly funded in 1987-88 by the National Science Foundation SBIR Phases I and II grants (Award Numbers: 8760730 and 8822197). Since that time, Cytonix has been engaged in the development of hydrophobic, oleophobic and super hydrophobic materials, miniaturized fluidics and methods of fluid control.

FluoroPel™ PFC 1601V, PFC 1101V and M1604V, were developed for ElectroWetting. These coatings have low surface energy, minimal contact angle hysteresis and UV breakdown resistance. M1604V is a superhydrophobic material, exhibiting contact angels of greater than 140° to water. FluoroPel PFC 1601V and 1101V are favored materials for Electro-wetting sign and displays.

In 1984, Cytonix used hydrophobic, oleophobic and superhydrophobic coatings with dielectric sub-layers on metal and ITO electrowetting electrodes; arrangements of matched, saw-tooth or offset upper and lower electrode elements, interleaved single-side control elements, and micro-electrode elements on one side with a large plane electrode on the other side; DC or RF control voltages; and step-by-step, microelectrode-to-microelectrode digital drop manipulation. These concepts were expressed in research under NSF Phase I and Phase II SBIR Grants in 1987-1989 and made public in 1990. Saw toothed or interleaved adjacent electrodes allowed drops to be in contact with "hot" electrodes as well as adjacent electrodes at the same time, promoting smooth, uninterrupted, step-wise motion of micro drops along selected paths. Current Cytonix interests includes Electrowetting materials and methods, Opto Electric Wetting, and random access high density addressable and configurable fluidic mass arrays.

PFC 1101V is a one percent fluoropolymer solution in fluorosolvent (BP=110°C). Thin films dry in 3-5 hours at room temperature to a surface energy of about 16 dynes/cm. Heating to 120°C for 30 minutes optimizes adhesion and reduces the surface energy to about 14 dynes/cm. PFC1101V is recommended for spin, spray or blot applications. The no charge addition of 2 percent fluorosilane (PFC 1101V-FS) is recommended for adhesion to oxide surfaces such as glass.

PFC 1104V is a four percent fluoropolymer solution in fluorosolvent (BP=110°C). Thin films dry in 3-5 hours at room temperature to a surface energy of about 16 dynes/cm. Heating to 120°C for 30 minutes optimizes adhesion and reduces the surface energy to about 14 dynes/cm. PFC1101V is recommended for spin, spray or blot applications. The no charge addition of 2 percent fluorosilane (PFC 1104V-FS) is recommended for application to oxide surfaces.

PFC 1601V is a one percent fluoropolymer solution in fluorosolvent (BP=160°C). Thin films dry in 4-6 hours at room temperature to a surface energy of about 16 dynes/cm. Heating to 180°C for 30 minutes optimizes adhesion and reduces the surface energy to about 14 dynes/cm. PFC1601V is recommended for spin, spray or blot applications. The no charge addition of 2 percent fluorosilane (PFC 1601V-FS) is recommended for adhesion to oxide surfaces such as glass.

PFC 1604V is a four percent fluoropolymer solution in fluorosolvent (BP=160°C). Thin films dry in 4-6 hours at room temperature to a surface energy of about 16 dynes/cm. Heating to 180°C for 30 minutes optimizes adhesion and reduces the surface energy to about 14 dynes/cm. PFC1601V is recommended for spin, spray or blott applications. The no charge addition of 2 percent fluorosilane (PFC 1604V-FS) is recommended for application to oxide surfaces.

PFC M1604V is a four percent fluoropolymer solution in fluorosolvent (BP=160°C). Heating films to 180°C for 30 minutes produces solvent and uv resistant films with > 140° contact angles to water. PFCM1604V is recommended for spray or blot applications.