Molecular Dynamics Simulation on the Electrowetting Behaviors of the Ionic Liquid BMIMBF4 on a Solid Substrate

FH Song and B Ma and J Fan and QC Chen and BQ Li, LANGMUIR, 35, 9753-9760 (2019).

DOI: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.9b01831

Compared with traditional aqueous solutions, ionic liquids have important application prospects in the field of wetting and electrowetting due to the advantages of high electric conductivity, long liquid range, and low volatility. In this paper, molecular dynamics method was employed to investigate the wetting and electrowetting behaviors of the nanodroplet of ionic liquid on a solid substrate, as well as the distribution of ionic groups. The ionic liquid is 1-butyl-3-methyl tetra-fluoroborate and coarse grained to simplify the molecular simulation model. The results show that the anion and cation groups are distributed in layers above the wall, and the peaks are different corresponding to different ionic groups. Due to the attraction of the solid substrate and the electrostatic force between anions and cations, the contact angle tends to increase slightly with the increase of ionic liquid pairs. To investigate the electrowetting behaviors of ionic liquid droplet, several electric fields of different strengths and directions have been applied to the system, respectively. The results show that the static contact angles decrease obviously with the increase of electric field, and the ionic liquid droplet wets the solid surface asymmetrically under electric fields in positive and negative directions due to different diffusion abilities of cationic and anionic coarse particles. However, for a hydrophilic surface (epsilon = 2.0 kcal/mol), the ionic liquid droplet wets symmetrically under the electric field E = +/- 0.18 V/angstrom because of the strong interaction from the solid surface. Thus, the wetting and electrowetting behaviors are determined by the combine effect of electric field, interaction among cationic/anionic coarse particles, and solid substrates.

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