OSA's Digital Library

Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 19, Iss. 16 — Aug. 1, 2011
  • pp: 15525–15531

Electrowetting driven optical switch and tunable aperture

C. U. Murade, J. M. Oh, D. van den Ende, and F. Mugele  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 19, Issue 16, pp. 15525-15531 (2011)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (1282 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



We demonstrate an electrowetting based optical switch with tunable aperture. Under the influence of an electric field a non-transparent oil film can be replaced locally by a transparent water drop creating an aperture through which light can pass. Its diameter can be tuned between 0.2 and 1.2 mm by varying the driving voltage or frequency. The on and off response time of the switch is in the order of 2 and 120 ms respectively. Finally we demonstrate an array of switchable apertures that can be tuned independently or simultaneously.

© 2011 OSA

OCIS Codes
(050.1220) Diffraction and gratings : Apertures
(230.2090) Optical devices : Electro-optical devices
(130.4815) Integrated optics : Optical switching devices
(220.1080) Optical design and fabrication : Active or adaptive optics

ToC Category:
Optical Devices

Original Manuscript: May 31, 2011
Revised Manuscript: July 6, 2011
Manuscript Accepted: July 19, 2011
Published: July 28, 2011

C. U. Murade, J. M. Oh, D. van den Ende, and F. Mugele, "Electrowetting driven optical switch and tunable aperture," Opt. Express 19, 15525-15531 (2011)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. R. Shamai, D. Andelman, B. Berge, and R. Hayes, “Water, electricity, and between ... On electrowetting and its applications,” Soft Matter 4(1), 38–45 (2007). [CrossRef]
  2. D. Y. Zhang, V. Lien, Y. Berdichevsky, J. Choi, and Y. H. Lo, “Fluidic adaptive lens with high focal length tunability,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 82(19), 3171–3172 (2003). [CrossRef]
  3. L. Dong, A. K. Agarwal, D. J. Beebe, and H. R. Jiang, “Adaptive liquid microlenses activated by stimuli-responsive hydrogels,” Nature 442(7102), 551–554 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  4. B. A. Malouin, M. J. Vogel, J. D. Olles, L. L. Cheng, and A. H. Hirsa, “Electromagnetic liquid pistons for capillarity-based pumping,” Lab Chip 11(3), 393–397 (2011). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  5. H. W. Ren, H. Q. Xianyu, S. Xu, and S. T. Wu, “Adaptive dielectric liquid lens,” Opt. Express 16(19), 14954–14960 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  6. H. W. Ren and S. T. Wu, “Optical switch using a deformable liquid droplet,” Opt. Lett. 35(22), 3826–3828 (2010). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  7. H. Ren, S. Xu, D. Ren, and S. T. Wu, “Novel optical switch with a reconfigurable dielectric liquid droplet,” Opt. Express 19(3), 1985–1990 (2011). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  8. F. Mugele and J. C. Baret, “Electrowetting: From basics to applications,” J. Phys. Condens. Matter 17(28), R705–R774 (2005). [CrossRef]
  9. N. R. Smith, D. C. Abeysinghe, J. W. Haus, and J. Heikenfeld, “Agile wide-angle beam steering with electrowetting microprisms,” Opt. Express 14(14), 6557–6563 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  10. R. A. Hayes and B. J. Feenstra, “Video-speed electronic paper based on electrowetting,” Nature 425(6956), 383–385 (2003). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  11. T. Roques-Carmes, R. A. Hayes, B. J. Feenstra, and L. J. M. Schlangen, “Liquid behavior inside a reflective display pixel based on electrowetting,” J. Appl. Phys. 95(8), 4389–4396 (2004). [CrossRef]
  12. J. Heikenfeld and A. J. Steckl, “High-transmission electrowetting light valves,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 86, - (2005).
  13. J. Heikenfeld, K. Zhou, E. Kreit, B. Raj, S. Yang, B. Sun, A. Milarcik, L. Clapp, and R. Schwartz, “Electrofluidic displays using Young-Laplace transposition of brilliant pigment dispersions,” Nat. Photonics 3(5), 292–296 (2009). [CrossRef]
  14. N. R. Smith, L. L. Hou, J. L. Zhang, and J. Heikenfeld, “Fabrication and Demonstration of Electrowetting Liquid Lens Arrays,” J. Disp. Technol. 5(11), 411–413 (2009). [CrossRef]
  15. B. Berge and J. Peseux, “Variable focal lens controlled by an external voltage: An application of electrowetting,” Eur. Phys. J. E 3(2), 159–163 (2000). [CrossRef]
  16. J. L. Jackel, S. Hackwood, J. J. Veselka, and G. Beni, “Electrowetting Switch for Multimode Optical Fibers,” Appl. Opt. 22(11), 1765–1770 (1983). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  17. J. M. Oh, G. Manukyan, D. Ende, and F. Mugele, “Electric-field–driven instabilities on superhydrophobic surfaces,” Europhys. Lett. 93(5), 56001 (2011). [CrossRef]
  18. H. Gu, M. H. G. Duits, and F. Mugele, “A hybrid microfluidic chip with electrowetting functionality using ultraviolet (UV)-curable polymer,” Lab Chip 10(12), 1550–1556 (2010). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  19. G. Manukyan, J. M. Oh, D. van den Ende, R. G. H. Lammertink, and F. Mugele, “Electrical Switching of Wetting States on Superhydrophobic Surfaces: A Route Towards Reversible Cassie-to-Wenzel Transitions,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 106, (2011). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  20. K. Zhou, J. Heikenfeld, K. A. Dean, E. M. Howard, and M. R. Johnson, “A full description of a simple and scalable fabrication process for electrowetting displays,” J. Micromech. Microeng. 19(6), 065029 (2009). [CrossRef]
  21. J. T. H. Tsai, C. M. Ho, F. C. Wang, and C. T. Liang, “Ultrahigh contrast light valve driven by electrocapillarity of liquid gallium,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 95, 251110 (2009).
  22. A. Staicu and F. Mugele, “Electrowetting-induced oil film entrapment and instability,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 97, (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  23. B. Sun and J. Heikenfeld, “Observation and optical implications of oil dewetting patterns in electrowetting displays,” J. Micromech. Microeng . 18(2), 025027 (2008). [CrossRef]
  24. D. Bonn, J. Eggers, J. Indekeu, J. Meunier, and E. Rolley, “Wetting and spreading,” Rev. Mod. Phys. 81(2), 739–805 (2009). [CrossRef]
  25. J. C. Baret and M. Brinkmann, “Wettability control of droplet deposition and detachment,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 96, - (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.

Supplementary Material

» Media 1: AVI (1121 KB)     
» Media 2: AVI (3350 KB)     
» Media 3: AVI (307 KB)     

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited