Richard B. Fair
Bio: Richard B. Fair is an academic researcher from Duke University. The author has contributed to research in topics: Silicon & Microfluidics. The author has an hindex of 59, co-authored 205 publications receiving 14653 citations. Previous affiliations of Richard B. Fair include Bell Labs & Cadence Design Systems.
Papers published on a yearly basis
TL;DR: In this article, a microactuator for rapid manipulation of discrete microdroplets is presented, which is accomplished by direct electrical control of the surface tension through two sets of opposing planar electrodes fabricated on glass.
Abstract: A microactuator for rapid manipulation of discrete microdroplets is presented. Microactuation is accomplished by direct electrical control of the surface tension through two sets of opposing planar electrodes fabricated on glass. A prototype device consisting of a linear array of seven electrodes at 1.5 mm pitch was fabricated and tested. Droplets (0.7–1.0 μl) of 100 mM KCl solution were successfully transferred between adjacent electrodes at voltages of 40–80 V. Repeatable transport of droplets at electrode switching rates of up to 20 Hz and average velocities of 30 mm/s have been demonstrated. This speed represents a nearly 100-fold increase over previously demonstrated electrical methods for the transport of droplets on solid surfaces.
TL;DR: This work presents an alternative paradigm--a fully integrated and reconfigurable droplet-based "digital" microfluidic lab-on-a-chip for clinical diagnostics on human physiological fluids, and demonstrates reliable and repeatable high-speed transport of microdroplets.
Abstract: Clinical diagnostics is one of the most promising applications for microfluidic lab-on-a-chip systems, especially in a point-of-care setting. Conventional microfluidic devices are usually based on continuous-flow in microchannels, and offer little flexibility in terms of reconfigurability and scalability. Handling of real physiological samples has also been a major challenge in these devices. We present an alternative paradigm—a fully integrated and reconfigurable droplet-based “digital” microfluidic lab-on-a-chip for clinical diagnostics on human physiological fluids. The microdroplets, which act as solution-phase reaction chambers, are manipulated using the electrowetting effect. Reliable and repeatable high-speed transport of microdroplets of human whole blood, serum, plasma, urine, saliva, sweat and tear, is demonstrated to establish the basic compatibility of these physiological fluids with the electrowetting platform. We further performed a colorimetric enzymatic glucose assay on serum, plasma, urine, and saliva, to show the feasibility of performing bioassays on real samples in our system. The concentrations obtained compare well with those obtained using a reference method, except for urine, where there is a significant difference due to interference by uric acid. A lab-on-a-chip architecture, integrating previously developed digital microfluidic components, is proposed for integrated and automated analysis of multiple analytes on a monolithic device. The lab-on-a-chip integrates sample injection, on-chip reservoirs, droplet formation structures, fluidic pathways, mixing areas and optical detection sites, on the same substrate. The pipelined operation of two glucose assays is shown on a prototype digital microfluidic lab-on-chip, as a proof-of-concept.
TL;DR: To understand the opportunities and limitations of EWD microfluidics, this paper looks at the development of lab-on-chip applications in a hierarchical approach.
Abstract: The suitability of electrowetting-on-dielectric (EWD) microfluidics for true lab-on-a-chip applications is discussed. The wide diversity in biomedical applications can be parsed into manageable components and assembled into architecture that requires the advantages of being programmable, reconfigurable, and reusable. This capability opens the possibility of handling all of the protocols that a given laboratory application or a class of applications would require. And, it provides a path toward realizing the true lab-on-a-chip. However, this capability can only be realized with a complete set of elemental fluidic components that support all of the required fluidic operations. Architectural choices are described along with the realization of various biomedical fluidic functions implemented in on-chip electrowetting operations. The current status of this EWD toolkit is discussed. However, the question remains: which applications can be performed on a digital microfluidic platform? And, are there other advantages offered by electrowetting technology, such as the programming of different fluidic functions on a common platform (reconfigurability)? To understand the opportunities and limitations of EWD microfluidics, this paper looks at the development of lab-on-chip applications in a hierarchical approach. Diverse applications in biotechnology, for example, will serve as the basis for the requirements for electrowetting devices. These applications drive a set of biomedical fluidic functions required to perform an application, such as cell lysing, molecular separation, or analysis. In turn, each fluidic function encompasses a set of elemental operations, such as transport, mixing, or dispensing. These elemental operations are performed on an elemental set of components, such as electrode arrays, separation columns, or reservoirs. Examples of the incorporation of these principles in complex biomedical applications are described.
TL;DR: In this paper, an alternative approach to microfluidics based upon the micromanipulation of discrete droplets of aqueous electrolyte by electrowetting is reported.
Abstract: The serviceability of microfluidics-based instrumentation including ‘lab-on-a-chip’ systems critically depends on control of fluid motion. We are reporting here an alternative approach to microfluidics based upon the micromanipulation of discrete droplets of aqueous electrolyte by electrowetting. Using a simple open structure, consisting of two sets of opposing planar electrodes fabricated on glass substrates, positional and formational control of microdroplets ranging in size from several nanoliters to several microliters has been demonstrated at voltages between 15–100 V. Since there are no permanent channels or structures between the plates, the system is highly flexible and reconfigurable. Droplet transport is rapid and efficient with average velocities exceeding 10 cm s−1 having been observed. The dependence of the velocity on voltage is roughly independent of the droplet size within certain limits, thus the smallest droplets studied (∼3 nl) could be transported over 1000 times their length per second. Formation, mixing, and splitting of microdroplets was also demonstrated using the same microactuator structures. Thus, electrowetting provides a means to achieve high levels of functional integration and flexibility for microfluidic systems.
TL;DR: This paper studies the effects of varying droplet aspect ratios on linear-array droplet mixers, and proposes mixing strategies applicable for both high and low aspect ratio systems, and presents a split-and-merge mixer that takes advantage of the ability to perform droplet splitting at these ratios.
Abstract: The mixing of analytes and reagents for a biological or chemical lab-on-a-chip is an important, yet difficult, microfluidic operation. As volumes approach the sub-nanoliter regime, the mixing of liquids is hindered by laminar flow conditions. An electrowetting-based linear-array droplet mixer has previously been reported. However, fixed geometric parameters and the presence of flow reversibility have prevented even faster droplet mixing times. In this paper, we study the effects of varying droplet aspect ratios (height ∶ diameter) on linear-array droplet mixers, and propose mixing strategies applicable for both high and low aspect ratio systems. An optimal aspect ratio for four electrode linear-array mixing was found to be 0.4, with a mixing time of 4.6 seconds. Mixing times were further reduced at this ratio to less than three seconds using a two-dimensional array mixer, which eliminates the effects of flow reversibility. For lower aspect ratio (≤0.2) systems, we present a split-and-merge mixer that takes advantage of the ability to perform droplet splitting at these ratios, resulting in a mixing time of less than two seconds.
TL;DR: A review of the physics of small volumes (nanoliters) of fluids is presented, as parametrized by a series of dimensionless numbers expressing the relative importance of various physical phenomena as mentioned in this paper.
Abstract: Microfabricated integrated circuits revolutionized computation by vastly reducing the space, labor, and time required for calculations. Microfluidic systems hold similar promise for the large-scale automation of chemistry and biology, suggesting the possibility of numerous experiments performed rapidly and in parallel, while consuming little reagent. While it is too early to tell whether such a vision will be realized, significant progress has been achieved, and various applications of significant scientific and practical interest have been developed. Here a review of the physics of small volumes (nanoliters) of fluids is presented, as parametrized by a series of dimensionless numbers expressing the relative importance of various physical phenomena. Specifically, this review explores the Reynolds number Re, addressing inertial effects; the Peclet number Pe, which concerns convective and diffusive transport; the capillary number Ca expressing the importance of interfacial tension; the Deborah, Weissenberg, and elasticity numbers De, Wi, and El, describing elastic effects due to deformable microstructural elements like polymers; the Grashof and Rayleigh numbers Gr and Ra, describing density-driven flows; and the Knudsen number, describing the importance of noncontinuum molecular effects. Furthermore, the long-range nature of viscous flows and the small device dimensions inherent in microfluidics mean that the influence of boundaries is typically significant. A variety of strategies have been developed to manipulate fluids by exploiting boundary effects; among these are electrokinetic effects, acoustic streaming, and fluid-structure interactions. The goal is to describe the physics behind the rich variety of fluid phenomena occurring on the nanoliter scale using simple scaling arguments, with the hopes of developing an intuitive sense for this occasionally counterintuitive world.
TL;DR: An overview of flows in microdevices with focus on electrokinetics, mixing and dispersion, and multiphase flows is provided, highlighting topics important for the description of the fluid dynamics: driving forces, geometry, and the chemical characteristics of surfaces.
Abstract: Microfluidic devices for manipulating fluids are widespread and finding uses in many scientific and industrial contexts. Their design often requires unusual geometries and the interplay of multiple physical effects such as pressure gradients, electrokinetics, and capillarity. These circumstances lead to interesting variants of well-studied fluid dynamical problems and some new fluid responses. We provide an overview of flows in microdevices with focus on electrokinetics, mixing and dispersion, and multiphase flows. We highlight topics important for the description of the fluid dynamics: driving forces, geometry, and the chemical characteristics of surfaces.
01 Jan 2016
TL;DR: In this article, the authors highlight the intricate interdependencies and subtle tradeoffs between various practically important device parameters, and also provide an in-depth discussion of device scaling and scaling limits of CMOS and bipolar devices.
Abstract: Learn the basic properties and designs of modern VLSI devices, as well as the factors affecting performance, with this thoroughly updated second edition. The first edition has been widely adopted as a standard textbook in microelectronics in many major US universities and worldwide. The internationally-renowned authors highlight the intricate interdependencies and subtle tradeoffs between various practically important device parameters, and also provide an in-depth discussion of device scaling and scaling limits of CMOS and bipolar devices. Equations and parameters provided are checked continuously against the reality of silicon data, making the book equally useful in practical transistor design and in the classroom. Every chapter has been updated to include the latest developments, such as MOSFET scale length theory, high-field transport model, and SiGe-base bipolar devices.
01 May 2005
TL;DR: Experimental results support the assertion that the dominant contribution to the dynamics of break-up arises from the pressure drop across the emerging droplet or bubble.
Abstract: This article describes the process of formation of droplets and bubbles in microfluidic T-junction geometries. At low capillary numbers break-up is not dominated by shear stresses: experimental results support the assertion that the dominant contribution to the dynamics of break-up arises from the pressure drop across the emerging droplet or bubble. This pressure drop results from the high resistance to flow of the continuous (carrier) fluid in the thin films that separate the droplet from the walls of the microchannel when the droplet fills almost the entire cross-section of the channel. A simple scaling relation, based on this assertion, predicts the size of droplets and bubbles produced in the T-junctions over a range of rates of flow of the two immiscible phases, the viscosity of the continuous phase, the interfacial tension, and the geometrical dimensions of the device.