Spatially controlled microfluidics using low-voltage electrokinetics
Most electrokinetic microfluidic devices currently require high voltages (>50 V) to generate sustained electric fields. However, two long-standing limitations remain, namely: (i) the resulting electrolysis of water produces bubbles, forcing electrodes to be placed in reservoirs outside the channels, and (ii) direct integration with low-voltage microelectronics cannot be achieved. A further limitation is the lack of spatial control within the microchannel. This work presents a method to achieve low-voltage (?1 V) electrokinetic transport using micropatterned Ag-AgCl electrode arrays, which allows spatial flow control within microchannels. We demonstrate bidirectional electrophoretic control of microparticles within microfluidic channels using ±1 V.