Electrowetting: A Consideration in Electroadhesion

Xinyi Li, Changhyun Choi, Yuan Ma (Corresponding Author), Perawat Boonpuek, Jonathan R. Felts, Joe Mullenbach, Craig Shultz, J. Edward Colgate, M. Cynthia Hipwell (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


With the commercialization of haptic devices, understanding behavior under various environmental conditions is crucial for product optimization and cost reduction. Specifically, for surface haptic devices, the dependence of the friction force and the electroadhesion effect on the environmental relative humidity and the finger hydration level can directly impact their design and performance. This article presents the influence of relative humidity on the finger-surface friction force and the electroadhesion performance. Mechanisms including changes to Young's modulus of skin, contact angle change and capillary force were analyzed separately with experimental and numerical methods. Through comparison of the calculated capillary force in this paper and the electroadhesion force calculated in published papers, it was found that electrowetting at high voltage could contribute up to 60% of the total friction force increase in electroadhesion. Therefore, in future design of surface haptic devices, the effect of electrowetting should be considered carefully.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9028166
Pages (from-to)522-529
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Haptics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Electroadhesion
  • electrowetting
  • random multi-capillary simulation
  • surface haptics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Science Applications


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