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Electrowetting on Immersed Conducting Hydrogel

Duc, Caroline, Vlandas, Alexis, Malliaras, George G., Senez, Vincent
The Journal of physical chemistry 2017 v.121 no.42 pp. 9947-9956
aqueous solutions, coatings, electric power, hydrogels, mechanical properties, models, physical chemistry, polymers, wettability
Conducting polymers demonstrate an interesting ability to change their wettability at ultralow voltage (<1 V). While the conducting hydrogel poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) polystyrenesulfonate (PEDOT:PSS) is increasingly used as an interface with biology partly thanks to its mechanical properties, little is known about the electrical control of its wettability. We rely on the captive bubble technique to study this hydrogel property under relevant conditions (fully immerged). We here report that the wettability variations of PEDOT:PSS are driven by an electrowetting phenomenon in contrast to other conducting polymers which are thought to undergo wettability changes due to oxido-reduction reactions. In addition, we propose a modified electrowetting model to describe the wettability variations of PEDOT:PSS in aqueous solution under ultralow voltage and we show how these variations can be tuned in different ranges of contact angles (above or under 90°) by coating the PEDOT:PSS surface.