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Drop transport and positioning on lubricant-impregnated surfaces

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We demonstrate the transport and positioning of water droplets on macro-patterned lubricant-impregnated surfaces. The macro-patterning produces menisci features in the impregnating liquid layer which interact with a droplet via a capillary mechanism similar to the Cheerios effect. These interactions control the droplet motion and positioning on an otherwise completely slippery surface. We present experimental results using a V-shape channel geometry as a model system. The interaction between deformations on the lubricant layer induced by the droplet and the underlying V-shape geometry leads to both local and global equilibrium positions for the droplet within the channel. We present a mathematical model to quantify the transition from local equilibrium states to the global equilibrium state and show that the latter can be described on the basis of a force balance along the apparent contact line of the droplet. We highlight possible applications where lubricated macro-patterned surfaces can be used to control the motion and localisation of droplets.

Graphical abstract: Drop transport and positioning on lubricant-impregnated surfaces

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Publication details

The article was received on 10 Feb 2017, accepted on 04 Apr 2017 and first published on 11 Apr 2017

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7SM00290D
Citation: Soft Matter, 2017, Advance Article
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    Drop transport and positioning on lubricant-impregnated surfaces

    J. Hui Guan, É. Ruiz-Gutiérrez, B. B. Xu, D. Wood, G. McHale, R. Ledesma-Aguilar and G. George Wells, Soft Matter, 2017, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C7SM00290D

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